Jon Kalish

Radio reporter and podcast producer Jon Kalish is based in Manhattan and has been a freelance contributor to WNYC since 1980. For links to radio docs, podcasts and stories by Jon Kalish, visit his Tumblr page here.

Jon Kalish appears in the following:

Listeners Uncover Details About Mysterious Muse Behind 'The Brothers Nazaroff'

Saturday, January 16, 2016

As a result of Jon Kalish's piece last Saturday on the obscure Yiddish musician known as Prince Nazaroff, a relative and a genealogist have stepped forward to provide more details about the man.


60 Years Later, A Wild, Baffling Recording Finds A Modern Spark

Saturday, January 09, 2016

In 1954, Folkways Records released an album that sold so poorly, the royalties to date total less than a thousand dollars. Today, five of the top names in klezmer have gathered to recreate it.


Remember 'Beakman's World'? The Wacky Scientist Is Still Big In Latin America

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The children's TV show ran for just five years in the U.S. in the 1990s. But it's still hugely popular in Latin America, and a stage version of the show attracts audiences in the thousands.


A Father, A Daughter And A Continent Between Them

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jon Kalish loved his daughter from afar, with calls and visits from New York to California. And he lost her from afar too โ€” first when they became estranged, and then in a more final way.


Inside The Wild (And Hand-Drawn) World Of Bill Plympton

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Indie animation king Bill Plympton's latest feature, Cheatin', tells the loopy love story of Jake and Ella, and how their perfect romance fractured. Reporter Jon Kalish visited Plympton in his studio.


New Postage Stamps Recognize The Genius Of Martin Ramirez

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Martin Ramirez was a self-taught artist who spent much of his life confined to hospitals, where he began to make remarkable art. Now some of it is featured on a new series of U.S. postage stamps.


William Electric Black Tackles Gun Violence In 5 Ambitious Plays

Sunday, March 22, 2015

William Electric Black, the first African American writer for Sesame Street and winner of several Emmys, has a new project: a five-play cycle on gun violence.


In Modern Klezmer, 'The Oldest Old Guy' Is The King Of The Scene

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pete Sokolow has been called irascible and a tough-as-nails teacher. He's also one of the last living links to klezmer's immigrant pioneers โ€” and to a new generation of musicians, he's invaluable.


An Evangelist Who Spread The Gospel Of The Accordion

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Walter Kuehr made his own name by making a name for what he called "the hippest instrument on the planet": the accordion. He died earlier this month at age 59.


Cornell To Digitize A Rich Hip-Hop Archive

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The founding publicity director of Def Jam Records, Bill Adler, amassed a highly valuable collection of music, writing and images.


Podcasts Rise In Popularity, Funded By Advertisers And Listeners

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Millions are downloading and listening to podcasts. It's the source of original material and growing ad revenue. Apple's iTunes has 1 billion subscribers, and advertisers are seeing dollar signs.


Amazon's Political Sitcom 'Alpha House' Launches Second Season

Friday, October 24, 2014

The show, by the creator of the "Doonesbury" comic strip, centers on four U.S. Senators who share a house in Washington, D.C.


Legendary Vermont Bakers May Stop Selling Beloved Sourdough Bread

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The bread that Jules and Helen Rabin have made in their fieldstone oven for four decades has a cult following in central Vermont. But this may be the last summer they sell it at the farmers market.


Gaza Violence Tests Once-Unshakable Allies U.S. And Israel

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Both sides have traded barbs and criticism over the other's policies. Some believe the public feud stems from a personal animosity between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Effort To Preserve Yiddish Works Not 'Bupkes'

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The preservation of Yiddish as a spoken language gets more attention, but Yiddish once had a vibrant written tradition as well, filled with plays, poetry, novels and political tracts.


Comedian Irwin Corey Turns 100

Saturday, August 02, 2014

"Professor" Irwin Corey is known as "the world's foremost authority." His birthday bash was held this week at the Actors Temple in New York City.


Mandolin Orchestra Celebrates 90 Years Of Harmony

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Americans were once mad for mandolins. Yet today, most have disappeared. We visit one of the remaining mandolin orchestras, which is celebrating its 90th birthday.


High-Tech Maker Spaces: Helping Little Startups Make It Big

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Inventing a new product is hard if you can't afford to build a prototype. Enter maker spaces, workshops boasting shared high-tech tools. Entrepreneurs love them, and big backers are taking notice.


Century-Old Jewish Mural Was Hidden For Decades In Vermont

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In the late 1800s, Jewish immigrants brought the Eastern European tradition of synagogue murals to Burlington. Now one such mural, painted in 1910, is being restored.


A Brief Tour Of The Alimentary Canal, From Spit To You Know What

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

If you didn't know that spit makes a great spot remover or where prison inmates smuggle cellphones, author Mary Roach can fill you in. There's more than digestion going on down there.