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: Robert Glasper, Mitski, Tangana

Monday, October 11, 2021

New Sounds
This week, a shiny new song from Robert Glasper and eagerly-awaited returns for Cat Power and Mitski. Plus, Spanish rapper Tangana on belief and miracles.
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Weekly Music Roundup: NY Gypsy All Stars, Susana Baca, elbow

Monday, October 04, 2021

New Sounds
This week, a cross-cultural premiere, a new elbow song with an old elbow title, and a stunning soul revue from the Apollo featuring Charles Bradley. Plus, new Susana Baca, and more.
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Mandala Lab Opens At The Rubin Museum

Friday, October 01, 2021

WNYC’s John Schaefer walked through the Lab with Tim McHenry of the Rubin Museum and composer Bora Yoon. 

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Weekly Music Roundup: Ben LaMar Gay, Alt-J, Japanese Breakfast

Monday, September 27, 2021

New Sounds
This week, echoes of summer from Alt-J and Ben LaMar Gay feat. Ohmme; a video game soundtrack from Japanese Breakfast; and South African electronic music producers Native Soul. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Buena Vista Social Club, Larkin Poe, Makaya McCraven

Monday, September 20, 2021

New Sounds
The Buena Vista Social Club keeps on giving; orchestral blues-rock from Larkin Poe; and music for autumn in New York by Makaya McCraven. Plus, brass band hijinks from Fanfare Ciocarlia.
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Weekly Music Roundup: ABBA, ÌFÉ, and Curtis Harding

Monday, September 13, 2021

New Sounds
ABBA is just as ABBA as ever; Afro-Cuban futurism from ÌFÉ; and Curtis Harding’s vintage soul. Plus, Brooklyn singer and rapper Spencer., and a tongue-in-cheeky love song by Sean Rowe.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Baracutanga, N.C. Sacred Soul, and FPA

Monday, September 06, 2021

New Sounds
This week, premieres of Latin folk-fusion from Baracutanga and Carolina soul from Big James Barrett and the Golden Jubilees, plus Kanye and Drake race to the bottom. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Marissa Nadler and Lee "Scratch" Perry RIP

Monday, August 30, 2021

New Sounds
This week, a subversive murder ballad from Marissa Nadler, an answer song to all those internet cat videos from Caribou, and the loss of Jamaican music legend, Lee "Scratch" Perry.
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Producer Picks: 'John Schaefer On Protest Music'

Thursday, August 26, 2021

A re-air of our evening special from last summer, 'WNYC At Curfew,' amidst the racial justice protests. Alison discusses the history of protest music with WNYC's John Schaefer.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Daptone Records @20, Parquet Courts, and Lorde

Monday, August 23, 2021

New Sounds
A celebration of old-school soul from the Apollo Theater, Parquet Courts' ode to crowded city streets, new age pop from Lorde, and a creeptastic film score by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Big Thief, Aluna, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Monday, August 16, 2021

New Sounds
This week, musical returns for Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Big Thief, and Aluna. Plus, new music by harpist Brandee Younger, shoegazers Yeah Baby, and NY garage rockers Loose Buttons.
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Weekly Music Roundup: The Weeknd, Adia Victoria, RZA

Monday, August 09, 2021

New Sounds
New music from some of the usual suspects (The Weeknd, RZA) and unusual ones (Adam Driver? Marion Cotillard?). Plus, Adia Victoria's A Southern Gothic and Julie Fowlis with Hawktail.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Prince, Billie Eilish, Bomba Estereo with Yemi Alade

Monday, August 02, 2021

New Sounds
This week, posthumous Prince, Brazilian Billie Eilish, and Yola’s summery pop. Plus, Colombian dance band Bomba Estereo and Nigerian superstar Yemi Alade, and Los Tangueros del Oeste. 
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NYC's Asian American Classical Community Meets Hate with Music

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. 

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Weekly Music Roundup: Beverly Glenn-Copeland Meets Kelsey Lu, Elvis Costello Meets Juanes, and Joan As Police Woman

Monday, July 19, 2021

New Sounds
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. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Jorge Drexler, Courtney Barnett, Attacca Quartet

Monday, July 12, 2021

New Sounds
This week, Jorge Drexler’s Uruguayan gospel, Quantic’s cumbia-rock, classical electronica from Attacca Quartet, and Courtney Barnett’s eventual return.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Rival Consoles, Laura Mvula, The Go! Team

Monday, July 05, 2021

New Sounds
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. 
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NYC's Cumbia Scene Looks Forward

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.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Caroline Shaw and So Percussion, Helado Negro

Monday, June 28, 2021

New Sounds
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.
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Madonna, The Beastie Boys, and The Talking Heads - Museum Takes A Look Back At The 80s

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. 

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