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, 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.
Monday, August 12, 2019
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.
Monday, August 05, 2019
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.'
Monday, July 22, 2019
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.
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.
Monday, July 08, 2019
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.
Monday, July 01, 2019
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.
Monday, June 10, 2019
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.
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.
Monday, May 13, 2019
Week of May 13: This week, looking back to the 70s with Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire, Lila Downs, and Doomsquad. Plus Flying Lotus teams up with Anderson .Paak, and more.
Monday, April 29, 2019
Week of April 29: This week – musical returns for Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, and Stormzy. Plus new music by The Oddysy and Chuck D, Kelly Moran, and The Mystery Lights.
Monday, April 15, 2019
This week, hear immigrant songs from T-Bone Burnett and Sinkane, plus Ellen Reid wins the Pulitzer Prize winner for Music, and Aretha Franklin's Special Citation.
Monday, April 08, 2019
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has collaborated with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on a new exhibition called "Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll."
Monday, April 01, 2019
Week of April 1: This week, music from a Ghanaian musician/film maker, a Belgian singer/model, and a California rocker/NPR fan.
Monday, March 18, 2019
This week, (almost) all roads lead to Africa with Angelique Kidjo’s Celia Cruz tribute, Dexter Story's Ethiopop-influenced music, Carlos Santana with Buika, and Malawi's Lazarus.
Monday, March 04, 2019
Week of March 4: This week, a different kind of resistance song, a different kind of hip hop, and some classic garage rock.
Monday, February 04, 2019
This week, Billie Eilish and Omar Apollo: youth is served; The Mountain Goats offer an epic war story, and echoes of Ethiopia by Dexter Story. Plus, Better Oblivion Community Center.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
A new exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum looks at the how J. R. R. Tolkien created the world of the Middle-earth.
Monday, January 21, 2019
This week, a big question from India.Arie, a 60s flashback, and a rapidly rising queer icon from South Africa. Plus, new music from Tanya Tagaq and Cinematic Orchestra.
Monday, December 24, 2018
Week of Dec. 24: Another farewell from Lin-Manuel Miranda (and Barack Obama), a surprise return by the Raconteurs, a new music session from VÉRITÉ, and a big ol’ box of gospel.