John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.
Schaefer has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley.
In 2003, Schaefer was honored with the American Music Center's prestigious Letter of Distinction for his "substantial contributions to advancing the field of contemporary American music in the United States and abroad." In May 2006, New York magazine cited Schaefer as one of "the people whose ideas, power, and sheer will are changing New York" in its Influentials issue. He began blogging for WNYC when accompanying the New York Philharmonic on its historic (and apparently very weird) trip to North Korea in 2008 and continues to blog at soundcheck.org.
He is a regular contributor to the World Science Festival and the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center; he has also written about horse racing (Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology, Vintage NY 2006) and was a regular panelist on the BBC’s soccer-based program Sports World.
John Schaefer appears in the following:
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Tues, Mar. 3, 12:30pm | Torres drops by to demo her serious guitar chops and preview her new "space cowboy album," Sprinter, out in May.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Watch the Hong Kong-born, London-raised, Brooklyn based songwriter perform in the Soundcheck studio.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Tonight at 7:30 pm, the Bang on a Can All-Stars present world premieres of new music by Wilco's Glenn Kotche, Jace Clayton (aka DJ/rupture) & Ben Frost. Listen to a live webcast.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
When John Legend and Common performed “Glory” on the Academy Awards, it wasn’t just a stirring moment in an otherwise tedious evening: it was a reminder that protest songs still live on.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The pop singer known for songs like "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me," and later, as an advocate of LGBT rights, died at 68. Soundcheck's John Schaefer has this remembrance.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
On the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison, we dug up a special program Soundcheck's John Schaefer created to commemorate the South African leader's historic visit.
Monday, February 09, 2015
The 57th annual Grammy Awards were last night, and the big winners were Sam Smith and Beck, while Taylor Swift had a rough time. Soundcheck's John Schaefer re-hashes how it played out.
Monday, February 09, 2015
A mostly-tepid night of too many performances and too few surprises, the 57th annual Grammy Awards did have some highlights. John Schaefer recaps the best and worst of the telecast.
Friday, February 06, 2015
With the 57th Grammy Awards coming up on Sunday, Feb. 8, Soundcheck's John Schaefer scans the nominees to predict who will win big in this year's biggest categories.
Friday, February 6, 2015
Fri, Feb. 6 | Sold Out- Manhattan is sold out, but join us for the Bronx on Feb. 13. Manhattan takes the stage in our quest to find New York City's best up-and-coming musical act.
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Bob Dylan is not a guest on today's show, but WNYC's Jonathan Schwartz and John Schaefer join us to discuss his new Sinatra cover album.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Mon, Feb. 2 | Buster Poindexter ushers in our new Soundcheck Pop Up Sessions.
Friday, January 30, 2015
On the great folklorist's centennial, Soundcheck's John Schaefer looks at Lomax's legacy with 15 covers you wouldn’t know if it weren’t for his musical discoveries.
Monday, January 19, 2015
The singer-songwriter and activist's lovely new music video draws a line between the non-violent civil rights movement of the 1960s and the recent "Black Lives Matter" protests.
Friday, January 09, 2015
On a classic movie bender, Soundcheck's John Schaefer explores a pair of songs that name-check horror and sci-fi films like 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' and 'The Invisible Man.'
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
At a time when bands reform as quickly as they break up, Soundcheck's John Schaefer mulls over what it means for a band to part ways and how soon it will before they reunite.
Friday, January 02, 2015
Soundcheck's John Schaefer turns his ears towards the new year with some things he's excited to hear in 2015, even if some of them are wishful thinking (ahem Joanna Newsom).
Monday, December 22, 2014
The rock icon known for songs like "Feelin' Alright" and his Beatles cover "With A Little Help From My Friends" has died at 70. Soundcheck's John Schaefer has this remembrance.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Silent Night has been recorded at least 733 times over the past 36 years. The Takeaway looks at one of the world's favorite Christmas songs.
Monday, December 15, 2014
From a scorching breakthrough performance on Letterman to the Scandinavian explosion, Soundcheck host John Schaefer shares his favorite musical moments of 2014.