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: Lula Wiles, Slothrust, and Julien Baker

Monday, March 01, 2021

New Sounds
Lula Wiles sends a song from Native American land; a long-delayed return from Dom La Nena; and an unsettling song by Julien Baker. Plus new Slothrust, Horsegirl and Maximo Park.
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Weekly Music Roundup: David Walters & Friends, José González, The Hold Steady

Monday, February 22, 2021

New Sounds
This week, Afrocentric music by David Walters (with Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Ségal), a Spanish-language debut for José González, and more questionable behavior from The Hold Steady.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Kronos Quartet, Ani Cordero, and Noga Erez

Monday, February 15, 2021

New Sounds
This week, Kronos Quartet celebrates Gullah culture, acoustic hip hop from Noga Erez, and a big hug from Ani Cordero. Plus, a collaboration from poet Ross Gay and Justin Vernon.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Balkan Taksim, Pharoahe Monch and th1rt3en, The Staves

Monday, January 25, 2021

New Sounds
Week of Jan. 25: This week, a premiere from Balkan Taksim, Billie Eilish & Rosalia’s brooding superstar duet, and hard-rockin’ music for the end times by Pharoahe Monch and th1rt3en. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Moira Smiley, Andra Day, and Cha Wa

Monday, January 18, 2021

New Sounds
This week, songs for MLK Day by Moira Smiley, Michael Leonhart and JSWISS, and a Billie Holiday cover. Plus, Cha Wa mixes NOLA funk with Mardi Gras Indian traditions.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Virgil Abloh and serpentwithfeet, The Weather Station, Rhye

Monday, January 11, 2021

New Sounds
This week, a climate song from The Weather Station, an eerie song of nature by Virgil Abloh and serpentwithfeet, and R&B from Rhye.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Harry Styles, Rob Burger, and RIP MF DOOM

Monday, January 04, 2021

New Sounds
This week, a Kylie Minogue & Dua Lipa duet ends 2020; a Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy cover begins 2021; Harry Styles has an idea for the new year; and RIP MF DOOM.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Warduna, Kanye West, Omar Sosa with Rajery

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Sounds
Hear the definitive 2020 holiday song by Great American Canyon Band, a winter solstice blessing from Wardruna, and a choral album – in Latin – by Kanye West. Plus, Omar Sosa with Rajery.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Paul McCartney, Branford Marsalis, and Jaialai

Monday, December 21, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Dec. 21: This week, Paul McCartney returns, Branford Marsalis scores Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Miami shoegazey psych-rock band Jaialai scores with a new single.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Taylor Swift, Las Palabras, and Caroline Shaw

Monday, December 14, 2020

New Sounds
This week, another Taylor Swift surprise, Natalie Bergman looks ahead to better times, and Las Palabras offer a Latin-Minimalist hybrid. Plus, a duet by Archie Shepp and Jason Moran.
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Weekly Music Roundup: The Hold Steady, Helado Negro, and The Comet Is Coming

Monday, December 07, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Dec. 7: This week, Dylan Sells Dylan; two Phoebes collaborate; and two deserts become one. Plus, new songs from The Hold Steady and The Comet Is Coming.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Jim Keller, Bombino, Tori Amos

Monday, November 30, 2020

New Sounds
This week, veteran songwriter Jim Keller returns, and new recordings by Bombino and Xixa take us to the deserts of West Africa and the American Southwest, respectively. Plus, Tori Amos.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Joseph C. Phillips Jr., Dry Cleaning, and Bomba Estéreo

Monday, November 23, 2020

New Sounds
This week, nostalgia for psychedelic Turkish pop, a wide-angle view of the Black experience in The Grey Land by Joseph C. Phillips Jr, and a gothic polka about a haunted house.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Loyle Carner, glaive, and Chilly Gonzales

Monday, November 16, 2020

New Sounds
This week, more is more: Loyle Carner + Madlib, Aya Nakamura + Stormzy, and Chilly Gonzalez + Jarvis Cocker + Feist. Plus, Matt Bauer + Brittain Ashford (Prairie Empire), and more.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Dom La Nena, Ballaké Sissoko, and Olafur Arnalds

Monday, November 09, 2020

New Sounds
This week, Dom La Nena’s song out of time; new music from Icelanders Olafur Arnalds and Björk; and a kora surprise from Ballaké Sissoko. Plus, Scottish singer-songwriter James Yorkston.
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Weekly Music Roundup: iLe, Danny Elfman, and Suuns

Monday, November 02, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Nov. 2: This week, calls to action from iLe, and from Alicia Keys & Brandi Carlile, and a Halloween creepfest from Danny Elfman. Plus, hazy industrial electronica from Suuns.
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Weekly Music Roundup: ÌFÉ, Pelé, and This Is The Kit

Monday, October 26, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Oct. 26: This week, electronica Santeria by ÌFÉ, orchestral Sigur Ros, and… Pelé?! Plus, a pandemic collaboration from Shara Nova, Gaby Moreno, and German choir Cantus Domus.
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Weekly Music Roundup: James Blake, Resistance Revival Chorus, and Omar Apollo

Monday, October 19, 2020

New Sounds
This week, dance music from James Blake, a classic protest song remade by the Resistance Revival Chorus, and songwriter Omar Apollo dials in Mexican sounds from Indiana. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Billie Eilish, Emel, and Bartees Strange

Monday, October 05, 2020

New Sounds
Week of Oct. 5: This week, Billie Eilish’s James Bond song, Emel’s Nirvana cover, and King Creosote’s Toy Camel. Plus, new music by Las Palabras and Bartees Strange.
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Michael Tilson Thomas Leads the San Francisco Symphony in Mahler

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS present an evening of symphonic Mahler.

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