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:

Meet Jaap: A New Conductor Takes the Baton

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jaap van Zweden makes his debut as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic this week.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Swamp Dogg, Julia Holter, and First Aid Kit

Monday, September 10, 2018

New Sounds
Week of September 10: This week, A "Blaze" of Glory, an old Dogg’s new trick, and a Mountain Goats surprise.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Tunde Olaniran, boygenius, and Moses Sumney

Monday, August 27, 2018

New Sounds
Week of August 27: This week, a Bill Withers Tribute, off-kilter pop from Tunde Olaniran, the debut of boygenius, Moses Sumney's EP, and world music orchestra, Bokanté.
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The Best of WNYC Live - Volume Two

Thursday, August 16, 2018

No one could have foreseen the dramatic and unexpected renaissance of live performances on WNYC in the 1990s.
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The Best of WNYC Live - Volume One

Thursday, August 09, 2018

These segments provide a friendly, informative entrance to the music we play on WNYC.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Robyn, Cypress Hill and Urban Santeria by Okonkolo

Monday, August 06, 2018

New Sounds
For this week of August 6, we celebrate the long-awaited returns of Swedish electropop star Robyn and the classic California rap outfit Cypress Hill, plus Urban Santeria from Okonkolo.
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The WNYC Commissions Volume One

Thursday, August 02, 2018

WNYC has a long heritage of supporting living composers and live music, and a wide view of what the words "classical music" might mean.
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Dispatches From the Bang on a Can Summer Festival 2018: Part 1

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New Sounds
Folk songs, scat-singing, an unintended interview with a flutist, and the sound engineer's perspective: A roundup of July 23, via the Media Workshop at Bang on a Can Summer Festival. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Mitra Sumara, Future, and "The Immigrants"

Monday, July 09, 2018

New Sounds
Week of July 9: This week: rollicking Farsi funk, a melancholy Future, Kate Bush looks to the past, and "The Immigrants." 
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Remembering Henry Butler, Unforgettable New Orleans Pianist

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

New Sounds
The singer and pianist Henry Butler, one of the great New Orleans pianists - along with Doctor John, Professor Longhair, and James Booker- died yesterday at 68. Here's this remembrance. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Directors and Dos Santos

Monday, July 02, 2018

New Sounds
Week of July 2: This week, Drake, Directors, and Chicago-based Dos Santos. Plus, a new video from Meshell Ndegeocello.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Conscious Hip-Hop and Aging Rockers

Monday, June 25, 2018

New Sounds
This week, Paul McCartney's new release, new rock from Shakey Graves, a collaboration between Charles Lloyd and Lucinda Williams, and PEOPLE announce their lineup
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Weekly Music Roundup: More Unearthed Jazz, Angelique Kidjo, and The Carters

Monday, June 18, 2018

New Sounds
New rock from Parquet Courts, Protomartyr, and Spiritualized, more unearthed jazz records, and Angelique Kidjo re-imagines "Remain in Light" by Talking Heads.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Lost John Coltrane and Hungry March Band

Monday, June 11, 2018

New Sounds
Week of June 11: This week, a lost album by John Coltrane, a new Superfly soundtrack, and a Hungry March Band premiere.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Oneohtrix Point Never, Marcus Miller, and Kanye

Monday, June 04, 2018

New Sounds
Yes, there is new Kanye West. But other stuff happened too. Oneohtrix Point Never dropped a new weird pop record; plus new music from bassist Marcus Miller, and electropop band The 1975.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Buddy Guy and The Midnight Hour

Monday, May 28, 2018

Week of May 28: This week, returns for Buddy Guy and Jake Shears, a benefit song from Hurray For The Riff Raff for Puerto Rico, and an expansive hip-hop/orchestral collaboration.
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The Met Museum Offers “The Art of Music”

Friday, May 25, 2018

The museum has had an impressive collection of musical instruments for well over a century, but for much of that time it was one of the hidden treasures.  No longer.  

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The Eights | 1978 in Music and Media

Thursday, May 24, 2018

1978 in music and television with Kurt Andersen and John Schaefer

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Signal-To-Noise: The Sounds of Decay

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Listen to the sounds of deterioration and decay with disintegrating and layered works by William Basinski, Grant Cutler, Annie Gosfield, Prefuse 73, and a classic by Alvin Lucier.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Neko Case and Treya Lam

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Sounds
Week of May 21: This week, Neko Case gets dark, Fantastic Negrito gets darker, and Nine Inch Nails… You get the idea.
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