Keith Spera is a native of New Orleans. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in political science, he ditched law school plans and returned to his hometown to write.
He edited the monthly entertainment magazine OffBeat before joining the staff of The Times-Picayune newspaper in 1996 as its music critic. He rode out Hurricane Katrina at the paper’s office and was part of its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage team. He has also won numerous national feature-writing awards.
He now works for the combined The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate. Over the years he has interviewed Jerry Seinfeld, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Joel, Janet Jackson, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Alicia Keys, The Edge, Usher, Sheryl Crow, Lil Wayne, Steven Tyler, Charlie Wilson and Frankie Beverly, among many others.
He is the author of the 2011 book “Groove Interrupted: Loss, Renewal and the Music of New Orleans” (St. Martin’s Press), has contributed to Rolling Stone, Relix, L.A. Weekly and other publications, and appears frequently on TV and radio. He wrote the main essay for Smithsonian Folkways’ acclaimed 2019 boxed set commemorating the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.