JS 30: Three Decades of John Schaefer
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
In 1981, a young radio host from Brooklyn came to WNYC. John Schaefer was hired to read newscasts and introduce classical music, but soon found himself hosting a new music show that quickly became the on-air hub of the fertile downtown music scene.
Thoughout December, WNYC celebrated Schaefer’s inimitable contributions to the musical life of New York City. The festivities kicked off on Friday, December 2 at 8pm, when WNYC presented “JS 30: Three Decades of John Schaefer,” an evening of live music and heartfelt memories in its downtown, street-level studio, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.
Grammy Award-winning singer Angelique Kidjo emceed the event, leading the audience through each of Schaefer’s past three decades – the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s – with personal stories from musicians, artists and friends, and of course, live musical performances. Guests included:
- STEVE REICH, one of the few landscape-changing composers of the last half-century
- LAURIE ANDERSON, experimental performance artist and the first guest on New Sounds
- WE ARE AUGUSTINES, Brooklyn-based indie rock group among Schaefer’s new favorite acts, who will play a stripped-down set
- SIMONE DINNERSTEIN, critically-acclaimed classical pianist, and TIFT MERRITT, folk-pop singer-songwriter, who will perform one of their new collaborations
- ETHEL, innovative, postclassical New York string quartet, who will perform a New Music piece
- MARGARET JUNTWAIT, radio host for the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee broadcasts and former WNYC music host
- SCOTT JOHNSON, New York-based composer, who will play the first movement of “John Somebody,” an early hit on New Sounds that is actually not about John Schaefer, contrary to popular belief