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: Dither, Popcaan, and Songhoy Blues

Monday, August 10, 2020

New Sounds
This week, experimental electric guitars by Dither, guitar rock from Mali by Songhoy Blues, Jamaican dancehall by Popcaan, and a reinvented British folk song from Bonny Light Horseman. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Galya Bisengalieva, Run the Jewels, and Mike Block's Global Crew

Monday, August 03, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Aug 3: This week, music for an ecological catastrophe by Galya Bisengalieva; a global cast joins cellist Mike Block; and Run The Jewels return a favor.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Taylor Swift, Ala.Ni, and Cinder Well

Monday, July 27, 2020

New Sounds
Week of July 27: This week, Taylor Swift’s surprising new album Folklore; captivating singer Ala.Ni’s lament for Emmett Till; and doom-folk from Irish-based artist Cinder Well.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Lisel, Bab L’ Bluz, and Samora Pinderhughes

Monday, July 13, 2020

New Sounds
This week, a quiet song of protest from Samora Pinderhughes, a noisy song from quarantine by Lisel, and an ode to the NYC subways from Max Richter. Plus, Moroccan trance by Bab L' Bluz.
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CONCERT WATCH – Cleveland Orchestra

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra is making some of their finest recordings available for on-demand listening on their website.The series is called TCO Classics.

Weekly Music Roundup: Hachalu Hundessa RIP, Monte, and Jorja Smith

Monday, July 06, 2020

New Sounds
Sample bird song from Colombia from Monte (aka Simón Mejía of Bomba Estéreo), music by the late Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa, and BRIT Award-winning singer Jorja Smith.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Fantastic Negrito and Tank, Khruangbin, and The Chicks

Monday, June 29, 2020

New Sounds
This week, collaborative songs featuring Michael Stipe, The Streets, and Fantastic Negrito. Plus, Houston-based psych-funk trio Khruangbin's new album, and The Dixie Chicks drop "Dixie."
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Weekly Music Roundup: Public Enemy, Yemi Alade, and Phoebe Bridgers

Monday, June 22, 2020

New Sounds
Week of June 22: This week, new music from Beyoncé, Bob Dylan, and Public Enemy, and a stunning return from Phoebe Bridgers. Plus, Japanese-Colombian collaborators, Minyo Crusaders. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Jarvis Cocker, Naeem, and TENGGER

Monday, June 15, 2020

New Sounds
Jarvis Cocker’s tribute to Leonard Cohen; Sunny Jain’s tribute to Breonna Taylor; Tengger’s tribute to krautrock. Plus, new music from Naeem (fka Spank Rock), and CDMX's El Shirota.
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CONCERT WATCH – Detroit Symphony

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Detroit Symphony Orchestra – DSO Replay

Two Music Executives Reflect On Race In Their Industry

Monday, June 08, 2020

Nabil Ayers is the U.S. General Manager for 4AD Records, and Ed Eckstine was the first black man to be named president of a major record label when he took over Mercury Records in 1986.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Fantastic Negrito, Andra Day, and The Knights

Monday, June 01, 2020

New Sounds
Week of June 1: This week, timely new songs from Fantastic Negrito and Andra Day; and songs from another time by The Raconteurs and The Knights.
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Weekly Music Roundup: IDLES, J.S. Ondara, and Kaki King

Monday, May 25, 2020

New Sounds
This week, quarantine messages from punk band IDLES, guitarists J.S. Ondara and Kaki King, along with new music from country star Margo Price, and from violinist Owen Pallett. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Moses Sumney, OK Go, and Moby

Monday, May 18, 2020

New Sounds
This week, subversive brilliance from Moses Sumney, an OK Go video from quarantine, and melancholy techno from Moby. Plus, Kamasi Washington's score for Michelle Obama's 'Becoming.'
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Little Richard and Florian Schneider: Two Artists Who Changed Pop Music

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

John Schaefer, host of WNYC's Soundcheck and New Sounds, joins us to remember Kraftwerk's Florian Schneider and Little Richard.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Buscabulla, Eve Owen, and Rhiannon Giddens

Monday, May 11, 2020

New Sounds
New music from Rhiannon Giddens, Lettuce, and Natalia Lafourcade all pay tribute to older music, and Puerto Rican duo Buscabulla looks to summer with a beach-ready dance tune.
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Music Venues Scramble To Survive Amid COVID-19 Shutdown

Friday, May 08, 2020

“There’s a lot of weird wording in a lot of these loans,” says one club owner, “and it seems like they don’t want to help bars or anything on the fringe.” 

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Weekly Music Roundup: Ghostpoet and Los Cumpleaños

Monday, May 04, 2020

New Sounds
Week of May 4: This week, dance the cumbia in a premiere from Los Cumpleaños, and unintentional pandemic songs from Ghostpoet and Son Lux.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Fiona Apple, July Talk, and Alex Winston

Monday, April 20, 2020

New Sounds
Week of April 20: This week, many (happy?) returns! Comeback music from Fiona Apple, Alex Winston, and The Airborne Toxic Event.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Laura Marling, Twenty One Pilots, and Surfer Blood

Monday, April 13, 2020

New Sounds
This week, responses to isolation from Twenty One Pilots, Laura Marling, and Surfer Blood; also composer Molly Joyce uses disability as a creative tool and a West African dance party.
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