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: Bob Dylan, Kandace Springs, and Dirty Projectors

Monday, March 30, 2020

New Sounds
This week, a blast from Afropop’s past, the future of Afrofuturism, and new music from Dirty Projectors and Bright Eyes. Plus, Kandace Springs, and a surprise from Bob Dylan.
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CANCELLED: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Beethoven Live From Carnegie Hall

Friday, March 13, 2020

Due to the COVID19 virus, this concert has been cancelled, and Carnegie Hall will be closed from March 13 through May 10. For more information, please visit Carnegie Hall's website.

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Global Mashups: The World Comes To Sing And Dance in Queens

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

If you ever wondered what a mix of Brazilian and Indian music would sound like, or a bluegrass/Cuban fusion, Global Mashups provide an answer.  

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Weekly Music Roundup: Christine and the Queens and Zeshan B

Monday, March 02, 2020

New Sounds
This week, Gorillaz meets Fatoumata Diawara; celebrating Brown Power with Zeshan B, Christine and the Queens unveil a surprise new EP, and the long-delayed return of Aksak Maboul.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Yves Tumor and Amanda Palmer

Monday, February 24, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Feb. 24: This week, a crisis response from Amanda Palmer, a warning from Lanterns On The Lake, a reassurance from Dan Deacon, and arresting, slinky, demonic funk from Yves Tumor.
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Listen: Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique Perform Beethoven at Carnegie Hall

Monday, February 24, 2020

WQXR brings you Beethoven's 8th and 9th Symphonies in the first Carnegie Hall Live broadcast of 2020.

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'Cambodian Rock Band' Looks Back To A Country’s Swingin’ Past — And Its Darkest Hour

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

WNYC
A survivor of the “killing fields” of the Khmer Rouge returns to Cambodia for the first time, trying to stop his American-born daughter from prosecuting a notorious war criminal. 

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Weekly Music Roundup: Black Belt Eagle Scout, Ghostpoet, Sam Lee

Monday, February 03, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Feb. 3: This week, Black Belt Eagle Scout looks at nature, Ghostpoet looks ahead to a dim future, and Sam Lee looks beneath an old folk tradition.
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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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