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.  

John Schaefer appears in the following:

New Sounds Presents: Lee Ranaldo, Steve Gunn and Dom Flemons

Thursday, June 08, 2017

John Schaefer wraps the New York Guitar Festival with performances by Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, singer-songwriter Steve Gunn and Grammy Award-winning folk artist Dom Flemons.

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New Sounds Presents: Trixie Whitley and Marc Ribot

Thursday, June 01, 2017

John Schaefer hosts an evening of performances by indie rocker Trixie Whitley and guitarist-composer Marc Ribot. 

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New Sounds Presents: Margaret Glaspy and Julian Lage

Thursday, May 25, 2017

John Schaefer hosts performances by indie rocker Margaret Glaspy and Julian Lage, one of the most formidable jazz guitarists of his generation. 

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New York Guitar Festival: Sharon Isbin, Alberta Khoury, Tengyue Zhang and Colin Davin

Thursday, May 18, 2017

New Sounds' John Schaefer hosts a diverse cast of guitar slingers performing newly commissioned works and special collaborations. 

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The Greene Space

Soundcheck Live: Courtney Barnett

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

1:00 PM

Wed, May 20 | Courtney Barnett stops by for a live Soundcheck session spotlighting songs from her newest album.  A live webcast will be available.

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Soundcheck Live: The Lone Bellow

Monday, March 30, 2015

1:00 PM

Mon. March 30 1pm| The Lone Bellow visits The Greene Space for a live Soundcheck session highlighting songs from its latest record, Then Came the Morning.

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Soundcheck Live: Torres

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

12:30 PM

Tues, Mar. 3, 12:30pm | Torres drops by to demo her serious guitar chops and preview her new "space cowboy album," Sprinter, out in May.

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Battle of the Boroughs 2015: Manhattan

Friday, February 6, 2015

7:00 PM

Fri, Feb. 6 | Sold Out- Manhattan is sold out, but join us for the Bronx on Feb. 13. Manhattan takes the stage in our quest to find New York City's best up-and-coming musical act. 

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Soundcheck Pop Up: Buster Poindexter

Monday, February 2, 2015

2:00 PM

Mon, Feb. 2 | Buster Poindexter ushers in our new Soundcheck Pop Up Sessions.

Soundcheck Live: Television composer Jeff Richmond talks '30 Rock' and 'Saturday Night Live'

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jeff Richmond has been working in show business for three decades – most recently, as the composer for the NBC sitcom "30 Rock" (starring his wife, Tina Fey).

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Soundcheck Live: Tig Notaro, Robert Randolph and Jeff Richmond

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

7:00 PM

An evening of music, storytelling and conversation. Hosted by Soundcheck's John Schaefer. Watch on-demand video of the entire event.

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'The Rite of Spring' Goes Solo

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

7:00 PM

Q2 Music and Soundcheck mark the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" with performance by pianist Vicky Chow and conversation with Sarah Fishko on her exploration of the era, "Culture Shock 1913." Watch on-demand video here.

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Soundcheck CMJ Showcase

Friday, October 19, 2012

7:00 PM

The annual CMJ Music Marathon will once again invade NYC from October 16 – 20, 2012 with performances from MNDRDave Hill, Debo Band and The Luyas.

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Soundcheck Live with Kaki King and Punch Brothers

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2:00 PM

 

 

Join host John Schaefer in the Greene Space as Soundcheck presents an hour with modern-day guitar hero Kaki King and Punch Brothers led by mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile.

Musician and composer Kaki King creates rich sound textures with her six-string skills – so well, in fact, that Rolling ...

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Andrew Bird performs "Orpheo" Live on Soundcheck

Friday, March 30, 2012

2:00 PM

Chicago-based film score composer, multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird joins John Schaefer in The Greene Space to play songs from his new album, "Break It Yourself" live on Soundcheck.

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Soundcheck Live

Monday, February 27, 2012

2:00 PM

Robert Glasper draws together his parallel passions for hip hop and jazz on his latest release, “Black Radio.” In addition to his formal jazz training, the pianist has long navigated the nebulous territory between the two genres – working with artists like Q-Tip, Mos Def, and Erykah Badu. For this ...

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The Jayhawks: Soundcheck in The Greene Space

Friday, September 30, 2011

6:00 PM

The Jayhawks became a cornerstone of alternative country music in the 1990s, with albums like “Hollywood Town Hall” and “Tomorrow the Green Grass.” Join the Jayhawks for an evening performance in The Greene Space on the eve of the release of their new album.

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Soundcheck in The Greene Space

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2:00 PM

Soundcheck is celebrating musical collaborations in The Greene Space with mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile of Nickel Creek and guitarist Michael Daves, and bluegrass legend Del McCoury and the swing kings of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

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Soundcheck’s Mic Check: NYC Hip Hop Showcase

Thursday, June 9, 2011

8:00 PM

Join Soundcheck as host John Schaefer welcomes four fresh voices of New York hip hop to perform live in The Greene Space: The Freeze Tag, Homeboy Sandman, Blitz the Ambassador, and Nitty Scott MC.

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Soundcheck: Medeski, Martin, & Wood

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2:00 PM

Join Soundcheck live in The Greene Space for live performances from out-there jazz trio Medeski Martin and Wood, as well as the New York singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys and his band, the Coney Island Playboys.