John Schaefer

Host

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.

John 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.  

Shows:

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Weekly Music Roundup: Kendrick Lamar, The Smile, Vieux Farka Touré

Monday, May 16, 2022

New Sounds
The return of Kendrick Lamar, a new Radiohead spinoff, and Amythyst Kiah does up a Tori Amos song. Plus, guitar hero Vieux Farka Touré, and spiritual sounds by Revelators Sound System. 
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Willie Nelson, Shilpa Ray, Congotronics International

Monday, May 02, 2022

New Sounds
This week, Made In America: music from Cuba, Colombia and Mexico. Also, the return of Willie Nelson, and Shilpa Ray takes on the patriarchy. Plus, new Congotronics International.
Read More

Comment

The Pioneering Techno of the Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble

Monday, April 25, 2022

Composer, DJ, and techno pioneer Carl Craig joins us with the Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble.

Weekly Music Roundup: Sonny Singh, Nailah Hunter, Cory Wong

Monday, April 18, 2022

New Sounds
This week, Sonny Singh’s tribute to the Sikh community, Nailah Hunter’s eerie nocturne, and Cory Wong’s effortless funk. Plus, a cover of Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman,” and more.
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Pastor Champion, Emeli Sandé, Adrian Quesada (of Black Pumas)

Monday, April 04, 2022

New Sounds
This week, gifted British singer Emeli Sandé, Pastor Champion’s posthumous debut, Hannah Peel meets the Paraorchestra, and Adrian Quesada reinvents Mexican psychedelia.   
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Chance the Rapper, Juanita Euka, Soft Cell and Pet Shop Boys

Monday, March 28, 2022

New Sounds
This week, Soft Cell and Pet Shop Boys, together at last; Chance The Rapper’s multimedia art project; multi-continental singer Juanita Euka, and Adia Victoria’s death-defying blues. 
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Ferris & Sylvester, RZA & DJ Scratch, and Cloud Cult

Monday, March 07, 2022

New Sounds
A premiere from Ferris & Sylvester, a very different duo from RZA & DJ Scratch, and a suggestive bit of sweetness from Kaina. Plus, Ukrainian black metal bands White Ward and Drudkh.
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Oumou Sangare, Tank & The Bangas, caroline

Monday, February 28, 2022

New Sounds
This week, a timely new song from Mali’s Oumou Sangaré, Robert Glasper’s star-studded new LP, Tank & The Bangas' "Stolen Fruit," and the ambitious debut of caroline. 
Read More

Comment

Iconic folk singer Woody Guthrie is celebrated by the Morgan Library & Museum

Thursday, February 24, 2022

From folk to rock to rap, American music has been deeply influenced by the work of Woody Guthrie. And a new exhibit examines why. WNYC’s John Schaefer took a look.

Comments [2]

Weekly Roundup: Hurray for the Riff Raff, Jake Blount, Cinder Well

Monday, February 21, 2022

New Sounds
Future Islands' return to TV, Hurray For The Riff Raff’s recipe for life on earth, and creepy folk from both Cinder Well and Jake Blount. Plus, Samora Pinderhughes addresses masculinity.
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Kae Tempest, Brandee Younger, Odesza

Monday, February 14, 2022

New Sounds
Spoon spends time with Lucifer, Odesza remakes an old Bettye LaVette song, and Kae Tempest’s love song to a troubled England. Plus, harpist Brandee Younger's two-part single, "Unrest."
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Mitski, Los Bitchos, Yungchen Lhamo

Monday, February 07, 2022

New Sounds
Mitski returns, British band Wet Leg debuts, and RIP to India’s Lata Mangeshkar. Also, cumbia appreciation from Los Bitchos and Calexico, and the latest by Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo.
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Method Man, Combo Chimbita, Hania Rani

Monday, January 31, 2022

New Sounds
This week, new songs from Method Man and Combo Chimbita, and a blues collaboration 60 years in the making from Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. Plus, Polish pianist Hania Rani's surprise EP.
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Mamak Khadem, Ibibio Sound Machine, Superchunk

Monday, January 24, 2022

New Sounds
There's global pop from California via Iran, and England via Nigeria; and the return of Superchunk. Plus, reedman Charlie Gabriel's debut album, 89, and Brad Barr's solo guitar album. 
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Rev. Shawn Amos, Rokia Koné, Emily Wells

Monday, January 17, 2022

New Sounds
This week: Elvis Costello, The Reverend Shawn Amos, and dance music from Mali by Rokia Koné, Colombia via Combo Chimbita, and the 80s in music by Mitski. Plus, composer Emily Wells. 
Read More

Comment

400,000 New Recordings in the Public Domain

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Thanks to legislation passed in 2018, around 400,000 sound recordings made before 1923 are now available in the public domain. We take a look at what's been uncovered.

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: The Weeknd, Brittany Davis, and Black Country, New Road

Monday, January 10, 2022

New Sounds
This week, a premiere from Brittany Davis, The Weeknd’s End-Times Radio Station, and a Celebration of New Orleans Hip Hop and Jazz. Plus, new music from Black Country, New Road. 
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Kate Ellis and Laura Cannell, Daniel Bachman

Monday, January 03, 2022

New Sounds
Cellist Kate Ellis and violinist Laura Cannell offer a seasonal gift from Glasgow; a rare, old salsa tune gets a modern remix; and Virginia guitarist Daniel Bachman's comforting blues.
Read More

Comment

Weekly Music Roundup: Mary J. Blige, Joni Mitchell, Džambo Aguševi Orchestra

Monday, December 27, 2021

New Sounds
Video Christmas gifts from Joni Mitchell and Mary J Blige; and festive dance music, Balkan-style. Plus, Ed Sheeran a cappella, and radical Jewish music meets Afrobeat in Zion80.
Read More

Comment

Christmas Music Around The World

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

WNYC's John Schaefer brings us the sounds of Christmas from around the world. 

Comments [2]