In the immortal words of Sam Cooke, “It’s been a long time coming,” and that includes a key personnel position for the Syracuse New Times. But change has come, in the form of new Music Editor Jessica Novak, who comes to us with some pretty impressive credentials and a thorough knowledge of all sorts of music. At the same time, we have introduced Dan Reynolds’ cartoons to this paper, fresh off his cover story treatment on March 23.
Novak, 24, is a 2010 graduate of Syracuse University’s esteemed Goldring Arts Journalism program. Students in that master’s level curriculum get to choose a concentration and Novak selected music. She graduated in 2009 from James Madison University with a degree in communications with a music industry minor. Growing up in Byram, N.J., she has played violin since the age of 7.
The Goldring program is an intense 11 months of international travel and working with the movers and shakers in arts journalism—writers at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and the New York Times, as well as visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Toronto International Film Festival. For all the jet-setting, however, Novak chose to settle back down in Syracuse. Her hopes for the city mirror her goals for the music section of The New Times.
“I want to develop the section so there is a relationship between the paper and the music community here,” she noted. “I want the paper to reflect what’s going on in the music community. There is so much happening and it should be talked about. There are so many different types of music going on all the time, they need to be highlighted. That’s our audience.”
To that end, Novak welcomes local musicians to submit their CDs to her so that she can revitalize our Record Hop feature. You can email her at jnovak@syracusenewtimes. com or call 422-7011, Ext. 122.
New and noteworthy: Jessica Novak brings a strong academic pedigree and lifelong love of music to her job as Music Editor for The New Times.