WNYC’s Legendary “New Sounds” Program Expands into Online Destination for the Musically Curious

WNYC’s Legendary “New Sounds” Program Expands into Online Destination for the Musically Curious

NewSounds.org Brings Together WQXR’s & WNYC’s Digital Contemporary Music Offerings for a Robust Online & Live Event Experience

(New York, NY– March 20, 2018) – Today, New Sounds – the revered WNYC radio program that has delighted and surprised New York audiences since 1982 – announces its expansion into an online destination for the 21st century music fan.

NewSounds.org infuses the eclectic spirit of the radio show into a full online and live event experience. Combining the New Sounds radio show, WNYC’s Soundcheck podcast and the adventurous spirit of WQXR’s Q2 Music, NewSounds.org will be a place for discovery, conversation, insights into the creative process, and of course 24/7 music.

The centerpiece is New Sounds Radio, an online station hosted by New Sounds founder and long-running host John Schaefer, but infused with new, emerging voices including experimental musicians Kelly Moran, Eliza Bagg and Lora-Faye Åshuvud, and tastemakers Gamall Awad and Matt Werth, along with WQXR’s Helga Davis and Terrance McKnight, and composer-guitarist Phil Kline. The station will feature an array of styles and genres – from singer Courtney Barnett to contemporary classical music ensemble Kronos Quartet, from jazz icon Henry Threadgill to the Nordic folk music of Wardruna, from electronic composer and bandleader Anna Meredith to the stunning vocals of Puerto Rico’s Ileana Cabra.

“With almost everything ever recorded anywhere now available online, where do you start? New Sounds might be the place,” said John Schaefer. “We try to be friendly and jargon free, and gleefully oblivious of genre.  Our goal is to find the artists, the songs, and the sounds that you might love – if only you get a chance to hear them.  And we believe that algorithms won’t give you the same experience as a set of recommendations from real people.  A friendly guide is the best way to discover new music, or music that defies easy categorization; and some of that music just might change your life.”

“For three decades, New Sounds was one of the last bastions of free form FM programming; completely genre-free and dictated solely by the impeccable and irresistible tastes of its host,” said Alex Ambrose, Senior Producer, New Sounds. “NewSounds.org will usher that sense of discovery and unpredictability into the digital age, drawing on the best of New York’s curatorial and taste-making power.”

Additional features on NewSounds.org include:

  • CURATED PLAYLISTSNew Sounds is bringing together a range of international artists and thought-leaders, including Grammy Award-winning singer-activist Angelique Kidjo, Arcade Fire’s multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry, and Ben Ratliff formerly of the New York Times.
  • NEW SOUNDS LIVE – The long-standing live music series will offer the best shows to attend with compelling bands from performance venues and festivals such as Big Ears Festival (March 22-25), Merkin Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival (April), Electric Nights at Public Arts (monthly events from March – June), the New York Guitar Festival (beginning May 17), and more.
  • HELGA  PODCAST: SEASON 2 – This conversation podcast is hosted by Helga Davis, an internationally-acclaimed vocalist who has collaborated with noted musicians including Philip Glass, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Nona Hendryx, Lou Reed, Shara Nova, and Paola Prestini. Special guests will include director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem Thelma Golden, film director and playwright Kenneth Lonergan, art curator and Instagram star Kimberly Drew, and visionary opera director Robert Wilson, among others. Season 2 begins March 26. Season 1 is available here.
  • SOUNDCHECKThe popular performance-chat podcast will feature Facebook Live performances by artists such as Fatoumata Diawara, Okkervil River, The Anbessa Orchestra, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and many more.  Watch jazz pianist and living legend Randy Weston today at 2pm here.



With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, New York Public Radio produces innovative public radio programs, podcasts, and live events that touch a passionate community of over 16 million people monthly on air, online and in person.  From its state-of-the-art studios in New York City, NYPR is reshaping radio for a new generation of listeners with groundbreaking, award-winning programs including RadiolabFreakonomics Radio, On the MediaHere’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and Carnegie Hall Live, among many others. New York Public Radio includes WNYC Studios, WNYC, WQXR, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio.  Further information about programs, podcasts, and stations may be found at www.nypublicradio.org.