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, October 19, 2020
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.
Monday, October 05, 2020
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.
Thursday, October 01, 2020
Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS present an evening of symphonic Mahler.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Week of Sep. 28: This week, the next great Brooklyn soul singer Bette Smith; the return of Public Enemy, and a posthumous duet from John Prine and Kurt Vile. Plus, a huge Prince reissue.
Monday, September 14, 2020
This week, The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) is back; so is Janelle Monae; plus an indie-rock/Memphis soul collaboration from Matt Berninger of The National with Booker T. Jones.
Monday, August 31, 2020
This week, Gregory Porter takes flight; Matthew Dear takes a test drive; Death Valley Girls get airborne on Earth, and Chief Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's live record, 'Axiom.'
Monday, August 24, 2020
Pharrell Williams celebrates Black entrepreneurs, sax player Nubya Garcia celebrates her Afro-Caribbean roots, and electro-composer Dan Deacon celebrates Extreme Dog Grooming.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
WQXR brings you Beethoven's 8th and 9th Symphonies in the first Carnegie Hall Live broadcast of 2020.
Monday, August 17, 2020
Week of August 18: This week, Emily Barker’s dystopian folk, PJ Morton’s gospel/reggae, and Jonsi’s collaboration with Elizabeth Fraser. Plus, a new album from the Mountain Goats.
Monday, August 10, 2020
This week, experimental electric guitars by Dither, guitar rock from Mali by Songhoy Blues, Jamaican dancehall by Popcaan, and a reinvented British folk song from Bonny Light Horseman.
Monday, August 03, 2020
Week of Aug 3: This week, music for an ecological catastrophe by Galya Bisengalieva; a global cast joins cellist Mike Block; and Run The Jewels return a favor.
Monday, July 27, 2020
Week of July 27: This week, Taylor Swift’s surprising new album Folklore; captivating singer Ala.Ni’s lament for Emmett Till; and doom-folk from Irish-based artist Cinder Well.
Monday, July 13, 2020
This week, a quiet song of protest from Samora Pinderhughes, a noisy song from quarantine by Lisel, and an ode to the NYC subways from Max Richter. Plus, Moroccan trance by Bab L' Bluz.
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra is making some of their finest recordings available for on-demand listening on their website.The series is called TCO Classics.
Monday, July 06, 2020
Sample bird song from Colombia from Monte (aka Simón Mejía of Bomba Estéreo), music by the late Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa, and BRIT Award-winning singer Jorja Smith.
Monday, June 29, 2020
This week, collaborative songs featuring Michael Stipe, The Streets, and Fantastic Negrito. Plus, Houston-based psych-funk trio Khruangbin's new album, and The Dixie Chicks drop "Dixie."
Monday, June 22, 2020
Week of June 22: This week, new music from Beyoncé, Bob Dylan, and Public Enemy, and a stunning return from Phoebe Bridgers. Plus, Japanese-Colombian collaborators, Minyo Crusaders.
Monday, June 15, 2020
Jarvis Cocker’s tribute to Leonard Cohen; Sunny Jain’s tribute to Breonna Taylor; Tengger’s tribute to krautrock. Plus, new music from Naeem (fka Spank Rock), and CDMX's El Shirota.
Tuesday, June 09, 2020
Detroit Symphony Orchestra – DSO Replay
Monday, June 08, 2020
Nabil Ayers is the U.S. General Manager for 4AD Records, and Ed Eckstine was the first black man to be named president of a major record label when he took over Mercury Records in 1986.