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: Algiers, Myrkur, and Eminem

Monday, January 20, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Jan. 20: This week, new songs from Eminem and Algiers tackle modern problems; a new song from Lankum looks back at an old one. Plus, dark folk music by Myrkur. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Larkin Poe and Demaro

Monday, December 23, 2019

New Sounds
Week of Dec. 23: This week, Jamaican musician Demaro is ready to make a difference; Larkin Poe is ready to do laundry; James Blunt is ready for his close up.
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Music of the 2010s

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

As the decade comes to an end, let's reflect on the music it gave us.

Weekly Music Roundup: Khruangbin with Leon Bridges and Marieme

Monday, December 09, 2019

This week, an unexpected collaboration from Leon Bridges and Khruangbin, big bright sounds from Marieme, and dark brooding ones from Bambara. Plus, Flying Lotus and rapper Denzel Curry.
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Why Streaming Music "Year End" Lists Strike a Chord

Friday, December 06, 2019

"New Sounds" host John Schaefer stops by to talk about why most-listened-to lists allow music fans be their own critics.

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Martin Scorsese & Robbie Robertson: A Match Made In Hollywood

Friday, November 29, 2019

"The Irishman" is full of music, carefully chosen by this music-obsessed director and his longtime musical consigliere.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Reggie Watts, Bonny Light Horseman, and Xenia Rubinos

Monday, November 25, 2019

New Sounds
This week, new songs from the creator of Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell, late night TV show bandleader Reggie Watts, the mercurial Beck. Plus, new music from Xenia Rubinos and Antibalas.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Offering Thanks and Brian Shankar Adler

Monday, October 21, 2019

New Sounds
Week of Oct. 21: This week, music inspired by film noir, telenovelas, and Moroccan trance – but first, a word of thanks to the New York Public Radio and New Sounds community.
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'Largest Hip Hop Festival in the World' Is in NYC for First Time This Weekend

Friday, October 11, 2019

Headliners this weekend include Wu Tang Clan, the Bronx's Casanova, ASAP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert.

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Weekly Music Roundup: The Comet Is Coming and Songs of the Bardo

Monday, September 30, 2019

New Sounds
Week of Sept. 30: Two different takes on “spiritual jazz”: one by Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, and Jesse Paris Smith and one by The Comet Is Coming, plus new The New Pornographers.
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Weekly Music Roundup: FKA twigs, Angel Olsen and Luke Temple

Monday, September 16, 2019

New Sounds
Week of September 16: This week, new music from FKA twigs, Angel Olsen, Perfume Genius, and Luke Temple.
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Weekly Music Roundup: The Hold Steady, Ala.Ni, Ikebe Shakedown

Monday, August 19, 2019

Week of Aug. 19: This week, The Hold Steady channels Led Zeppelin; the singer Ala.Ni celebrates our differences; and another lost album by John Coltrane is found.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Rare "Barbershop Gospel" Reissues, iLe, and Bat for Lashes

Monday, August 12, 2019

New Sounds
Week of Aug. 12: This week, reissued "barbershop gospel" rarities, a Springsteen soundtrack, new songs from Bat for Lashes and iLE, along with Bon Iver’s 8-part surprise.
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Weekly Music Roundup: HAIM, Dizraeli, and Penguin Café

Monday, August 05, 2019

New Sounds
Week of Aug. 5: This week, HAIM celebrates summer, songs about penguins by Penguin Café, the decidedly NOT-punk IDLES, and a band whose name means 'remove worry.'
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Weekly Music Roundup: Wilco, Resavoir, and Beyoncé

Monday, July 22, 2019

New Sounds
Week of July 22: This week, sounds from West Africa, and Chicago, courtesy of Beyoncé, Wilco, and more, and music from Senegal by Shaheed & Dixa, Featuring Marieme.
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The Secret Sound Of The Vessel Orchestra

Friday, July 12, 2019

Look around you.  Chances are there’s something nearby — a jar, a vase, a bottle, a glass — that is silently singing. 

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Weekly Music Roundup: Frank Turner, Tanya Tucker, and Vanessa Wagner

Monday, July 08, 2019

New Sounds
Week of July 8: A spooky summer soundtrack from Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak, a celebration of women in history by Frank Turner, and the return of country outlaw Tanya Tucker.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Lucy Dacus, San Fermin, and Fantastic Negrito

Monday, July 01, 2019

New Sounds
Week of July 1: This week, a “holiday” song from Lucy Dacus, some avant-pop from San Fermin, a trippy musical trip out west, and a new video from Grammy-winning Fantastic Negrito. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Angélique Kidjo, Bat for Lashes, and Team Dresch

Monday, June 10, 2019

New Sounds
This week, a tribute to the Queen of Salsa from Angélique Kidjo, a new album from Santana, romance and menace by Bat for Lashes, and the return of queer punk icons Team Dresch.
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A Brief, Strange History of 20th Century Europe

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

The German-born composer and director Heiner Goebbels returns to the Park Avenue Armory with an ambitious work Everything That Happened And Will Happen.

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