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.
John Schaefer appears in the following:
Monday, July 26, 2021
With live performances slowly returning, we're checking in with different corners of New York City's music scene to see how musicians have weathered the pandemic.
Monday, July 19, 2021
Hear new takes on old songs by Derek & The Dominoes, folk singer Shirley Collins, Elvis Costello, and Beverly Glenn-Copeland. Plus, JG Thirlwell as Xordox and new Joan As Police Woman.
Monday, July 12, 2021
This week, Jorge Drexler’s Uruguayan gospel, Quantic’s cumbia-rock, classical electronica from Attacca Quartet, and Courtney Barnett’s eventual return.
Monday, July 05, 2021
The British are coming (again) in The Go! Team, Laura Mvula, and Rival Consoles, supergroup Big Red Machine reconvenes, and a new (old) kind of Latin music from John Linnell.
Friday, July 02, 2021
As New York gets started on what looks to be a summer of live performances, we're checking in with different corners of the city's music scene.
Monday, June 28, 2021
This week, new music from composer and vocalist Caroline Shaw with So Percussion, Toronto rapper Shad, and American musician Helado Negro; also RIP Jon Hassell and Frederic Rzewski.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
The Koch administration was too busy pulling the city back from near bankruptcy to bother with cabaret laws, so club sprouted up all over the city.
Monday, June 21, 2021
Tennessee-based songwriter Amythyst Kiah's bluesy-Americana, new music band Wild Up records the outsider art of Julius Eastman, a glam-dance track by Yves Tumor, and Shungudzo's debut.
Monday, June 14, 2021
This week, Polo G taps Nicki Minaj for a duet; Pom Pom Squad offers mid-century garage-noir; Arab Strap's remix allegory; and Haitus Kaiyote drops a slinky wondercore song about sex.
Monday, June 07, 2021
This week, Japanese Breakfast and Joy Oladokun fight for happiness; the Mountain Goats fight for their lives; plus new releases from Prince, Spellling, and Public Service Broadcasting.
Friday, June 04, 2021
Open Call is a program of free exhibitions, installations, and performances.
Friday, June 04, 2021
As New York begins to look ahead to a summer of live performances, we're checking in with different corners of the city's music scene.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Your summer tunes tour guide.
Monday, May 17, 2021
Go “Black to the Future” with Sons of Kemet; take a strange trip with Johnny Flynn; hear the many voices of Xenia Rubinos and the sweet 70's sounds of St. Vincent's latest.
Monday, May 10, 2021
This week, legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen’s posthumous album, Cuban band Okuté's new/old sound, and Laura Marling’s “lumpy” collaboration with Mike Lindsay of Tunng.
Monday, May 03, 2021
This week, a gathering of the tribes for a new Flock Dimes song, the return of Warpaint, and a Billie Eilish single torn from the headlines. Plus, healing trancey music from Innov Gnawa.
Monday, April 26, 2021
This week, the return of R&B legend Van Morrison, a joyful noise from Congo’s Jupiter and Okwess, an unsettling noise from Jason Lindner, and an eerie nocturnal song by Lucinda Chua.
Monday, April 19, 2021
This week, Rodrigo y Gabriela cover Astor Piazzolla, a haunted single from Amythyst Kiah, and a musical project exploring non-binary history from the artist Eyibra.
Monday, April 12, 2021
This week, Old Sea Brigade’s new sound, Vijay Iyer's latest Trio, and Chilean singer Mon Laferte’s Mexican tribute. Plus, a kora duet by Ballaké Sissoko and Sona Jobarteh.
Monday, April 05, 2021
This week, songs by Sons of Kemet and Rosanne Cash wrestle with history; and Esperanza Spalding opens her musical apothecary. Plus, L'Rain and Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble.