Produced by

John Schaefer

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.

Schaefer 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:

Emmy The Great: Elegant Pop And Poetic Wordplay

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Watch the Hong Kong-born, London-raised, Brooklyn based songwriter perform in the Soundcheck studio.

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Where Have All The Protest Songs Gone?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When John Legend and Common performed “Glory” on the Academy Awards, it wasn’t just a stirring moment in an otherwise tedious evening: it was a reminder that protest songs still live on.
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Why Lesley Gore Mattered

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The pop singer known for songs like "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me," and later, as an advocate of LGBT rights, died at 68. Soundcheck's John Schaefer has this remembrance. 
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Hear This Newly Unearthed Gem Celebrating Nelson Mandela's Trip to NYC

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison, we dug up a special program Soundcheck's John Schaefer created to commemorate the South African leader's historic visit.

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A Night Of Highs And Lows At The 2015 Grammy Awards

Monday, February 09, 2015

A mostly-tepid night of too many performances and too few surprises, the 57th annual Grammy Awards did have some highlights. John Schaefer recaps the best and worst of the telecast.
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Who Will (And Should) Win At This Year’s Grammy Awards?

Friday, February 06, 2015

With the 57th Grammy Awards coming up on Sunday, Feb. 8, Soundcheck's John Schaefer scans the nominees to predict who will win big in this year's biggest categories.
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Alan Lomax Heard America Sing, We Heard It Rock

Friday, January 30, 2015

On the great folklorist's centennial, Soundcheck's John Schaefer looks at Lomax's legacy with 15 covers you wouldn’t know if it weren’t for his musical discoveries.
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Jen Chapin's 'Gospel' Honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The singer-songwriter and activist's lovely new music video draws a line between the non-violent civil rights movement of the 1960s and the recent "Black Lives Matter" protests.
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A World Of Sci-fi And Horror Classics In Two Songs

Friday, January 09, 2015

On a classic movie bender, Soundcheck's John Schaefer explores a pair of songs that name-check horror and sci-fi films like 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' and 'The Invisible Man.'
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We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together... Probably

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

At a time when bands reform as quickly as they break up, Soundcheck's John Schaefer mulls over what it means for a band to part ways and how soon it will before they reunite.

Comments [6]

What To Look (and Listen) For in 2015

Friday, January 02, 2015

Soundcheck's John Schaefer turns his ears towards the new year with some things he's excited to hear in 2015, even if some of them are wishful thinking (ahem Joanna Newsom).
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Remembering Joe Cocker, A Mad Dog And Englishman

Monday, December 22, 2014

The rock icon known for songs like "Feelin' Alright" and his Beatles cover "With A Little Help From My Friends" has died at 70. Soundcheck's John Schaefer has this remembrance.
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The Year's Best Music

Monday, December 15, 2014

WNYC
From a scorching breakthrough performance on Letterman to the Scandinavian explosion, Soundcheck host John Schaefer shares his favorite musical moments of 2014.
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The Only 'Silent Nights' You Need

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Silent Night" is not just a great Christmas song. It's a great song. Period. Here are the five best versions of the most-recorded holiday tune of all time.
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Young Fathers: The Surprise Winners Of The Mercury Prize Offer A Surprise Track

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The surprise winners of the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Prize offer a surprise track that may or may not hint at the sound of new music to come.
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Are These the Best Album Covers of All Time?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

For many rock music fans in the '70s, the design team known as Hipgnosis were the pinnacle of album cover art. Has anyone since ever come close?
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A Guide to All These Box Sets The Music Industry Keeps Churning Out

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, so let’s talk for the moment about the life preserver the record labels are currently clinging to: The box set.

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Emmy The Great Lives Up To Her Name With 'Swimming Pool'

Thursday, November 20, 2014

In January, Emmy The Great is set to release an EP simple titled S. But why wait til 2015, when you can watch the video for her new single, "Swimming Pool."
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Sugarhill Gang's Big Bank Hank Cooked Up The Sound Of East Coast Rap

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Henry Jackson, better know as Big Bank Hank, died Tuesday. Soundcheck's John Schaefer reflects on the lasting influence of Hank's voice and the classic track "Rapper's Delight."
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Check Ahead: Bryan Ferry, 'Avonmore'

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Roxy Music singer channels his classic work while still sounding fresh. Ferry's sound remains full, clear and direct, with layers of instruments shifting in and out of focus.
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