Our monthly was launched in March 1982 by jazz writer Gene Kalbacher with his wife Lynn and Jeff Levenson currently executive Vice President of Half Note Records. Gene’s goal was to provide music enthusiasts with a handy printed guide to the best in New York jazz clubs, concerts and festivals–with informed commentary on up-and-comers, as well as established talent. Lynn Kalbacher Taterka labored for twenty years to build on Gene's vision until 2002 when Gwen Kelley (formerly Calvier) took over with the help of late editor Paul Blair. Into our 4th decade, our new team is commited to maintaining the high standard our readers deserve. Publisher/Managing editor Gwen Kelley and her staff (copy editor Yvonne Ervin with a loyal crew of contributing writers and production/art director Karen


Pica) will keep delivering the highest possible quality:

  • We’re broadening the scope and depth of our coverage.
  • Our expanded online presence provides direct access to musicians’ and venues’ own websites
  • Our pages are more numerous and colorful than ever before.
  • And we deliver hard copies around the city before the last weekend of every month.

Hot House keeps getting stronger than ever. Its readership includes many New Yorkers but also jazz enthusiasts living far from New York, and even outside the U.S. Loyal partners, musicians, club owners, concert promoters and record company execs eager to build the audience for the music rely upon Hot House to advertise their events. Since jazz never stands still, neither will we!  



Gwen Kelley (formerly Calvier), Publisher/Managing Editor: Gwen Kelley, a jazz-loving lawyer specialized in labor and employment issues, moved from France to the United States in the late 1990s after spending the first 10 years of her career as an HR consultant. Searching for an ideal way to meld her business skills with her keen interest in music, she purchased Hot House and has been running the magazine since 2002. These days, Gwen spends an inordinate amount of time visiting local jazz venue to another, attending recording sessions, enthusing about what she hears and doing everything she can to promote the music’s top talents. 

Elzy Kolb, Contributing Editor: Elzy Kolb grew up listening to Joel Dorn on the radio, sparking an enduring interest in jazz. She spent four years playing jazz and blues at an NPR-affiliate station in the West, interviewing everyone from Sun Ra to Son Seals, while cutting her journalistic teeth writing performance and record reviews. A longtime freelance writer, editor and copy editor, Elzy has worked for a spectrum of print and web publications including Teen Vogue, Food & Wine, The New York Time, and many others. A Hot House contributing writer since 2003, Elzy is currently our contributing editor.

Karen Pica, Production/Art Director: Holder of a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Kean University, designer and illustrator Karen Pica works in a style she calls “stylized realism,” She’s won awards for her photography and her hand-painted clothing designs. Her paintings were shown in 2001 and 2002 as a part of the International Miniature Art Exhibition at the Renee Foosaner Art Gallery in Millburn, NJ. A valuable assistant to Hot House’s founders since the magazine’s very first issue, she’s been in charge of the production for many years and is now our Production and Art Director.

Fran Kaufman, Contributing Photographer: Fran Kaufman has been covering the jazz scene for over a dozen years. In addition to her work for Hothouse, her photographs appear daily on the photoblog (wbgo.org/photoblog) of WBGO Radio. She is the official photographer for The Jazz Cruise, for which she produces an annual photobook, and she photographs musicians in the jazz and classical worlds for album covers, magazines and publicity. Her work has been honored with recent solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and at the gallery of WBGO Radio in Newark, New Jersey. Viewers who attended these exhibitions know that Kaufman captures musicians in private moments, behind the scenes, at rehearsals and in recording studios. Some of these behind-the-scenes shots appear monthly in Hot House's "Moment You Missed."