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, May 29, 2023
This week, returns for songwriter Anjimile and Canadian singer/pianist Jeremy Dutcher; a tribute to Low by Sylvan Esso; and emotive dance music from Bayonne.
Monday, May 22, 2023
This week, Paul Simon’s psalms, Anohni’s prayer for understanding, and Gershwin’s inadvertent surfing safari. Plus songs by June McDoom and Dudu Tassa & Jonny Greenwood.
Monday, May 15, 2023
An Afro-Caribbean premiere by Yasser Tejeda; an Indo-chamber-bluegrass work by Bela Fleck et al; and a new song from Christine & The Queens. Plus, South London's Speakers Corner Quartet.
Monday, May 08, 2023
Ed Sheeran’s sonic surprise; cosmic R&B from Meshell Ndegeocello; and a new Afro-Latin jazz sound from Avishai Cohen and Abe Rodriguez. Plus songs by Danielle Ponder and Peter Gabriel.
Monday, May 01, 2023
This week, things get weird in songs by The God In Hackney and Goldfeather, and a half century of dance moves from Alex Anwandter and Monsieur Perine. Plus, a Doc Watson tribute album.
Friday, April 28, 2023
Sam Green's newest immersive documentary, now playing at Film Forum, breaks the conventional rules in exploring how we perceive, process and feel the world around us through sound.
Monday, April 24, 2023
This week, South African funk from BCUC, dragonchild’s Ethiopian-tinged pop, and news about Paul Simon’s newest music. Plus, Interpol, remixed, and modern string trio music.
Monday, April 17, 2023
This week, returns for Natalie Merchant and Ivan Neville; and a return to the psychedelic 70s by Night Beats. Plus, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara's latest, and a Jonny Greenwood duo.
Monday, April 10, 2023
Cosmic jazz from harpist Brandee Younger, Afro-Venezuelan dance music from Gotopo, and soundscapes from cellist Issei Herr. Plus, duo music by Kayhan Kalhor and Toumani Diabate.
Monday, April 03, 2023
This week, an invitation from The New Pornographers, a reinvention from Ana Macho, and returns for Bettye LaVette and The Beths. Plus, fractured pop by electronic artist Katie Gately.
Monday, March 27, 2023
This week, old American sounds in new songs by Nat Myers and Dom Flemons, a twist on classic soul from The Soul Motivators, and musical heartache from The National. Plus, Caroline Rose.
Monday, March 20, 2023
This week, dark pop from Hozier, synth pop from M83, and desert blues from Tinariwen. Plus returns for cellist Dom La Nena and the hyperpop duo called 100 gecs.
Monday, March 13, 2023
This week, cinematic rock from Manchester Orchestra, posthumous Afropop from Ali Farka Touré, and climate-themed works by Jocelyn Pook and Kishi Bashi.
Monday, February 27, 2023
Madison McFerrin’s atmospheric single' Atmosphere’s feel-good single' and Shana Cleveland's spectral guitar-based love album populated with the insect world, ghosts, and evil spirits.
Monday, February 20, 2023
Troubled times bring out the best in The Heavy and Joy Oladokun; technology brings out the many sides of Lisel; and Natalie Merchant returns. Plus, new music from Dry Cleaning.
Monday, February 13, 2023
Kelela’s return, Black Belt Eagle Scout’s Indigenous creation myth, and Grandbrothers’ collaboration with a cathedral. Plus, Cinder Well's doom-folk and Son Rompe Pera's cumbia punk.
Monday, February 06, 2023
Fantastic Negrito goes acoustic; Lankum dives deep into drones; and a few Grammy thoughts. Plus, new music from Alfa Mist, WILSN, and global chamber music from Sissoko and Segal.
Monday, January 30, 2023
This week, Kimbra’s art-pop, slowthai’s rap-punk, and more multi-hyphenate music from Kenya composer/sound artist Nyokabi Kariuki and guitarist/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock.
Monday, January 23, 2023
This week, returns for The National, Oddisee, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Plus, new pop gems from boygenius (Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker) and Fenne Lily.
Monday, January 16, 2023
This week, time-traveling songs by Vicky Tafoya and Rachael & Vilray; and big questions in music by Marcus Strickland and Katie Melua.