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Soundcheck

WNYC

WNYC, New York Public Radio, brings you Soundcheck, the arts and culture program hosted by John Schaefer, who engages guests and listeners in lively, inquisitive conversations with established and rising figures in New York City's creative arts scene. Guests come from all disciplines, including pop, indie rock, jazz, urban, world and classical music, technology, cultural affairs, TV and film. Recent episodes have included features on Michael Jackson,Crosby Stills & Nash, the Assad Brothers, Rackett, The Replacements, and James Brown.

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

WNYC, New York Public Radio, brings you Soundcheck, the arts and culture program hosted by John Schaefer, who engages guests and listeners in lively, inquisitive conversations with established and rising figures in New York City's creative arts scene. Guests come from all disciplines, including pop, indie rock, jazz, urban, world and classical music, technology, cultural affairs, TV and film. Recent episodes have included features on Michael Jackson,Crosby Stills & Nash, the Assad Brothers, Rackett, The Replacements, and James Brown.

Twitter:

@soundcheck

Language:

English

Contact:

WNYC Radio 160 Varick St. New York, NY 10013 (212) 433-9692


Episodes

Vijay Iyer Trio Forges Telepathic Connections on 'Compassion'

2/22/2024
Pianist and composer Vijay Iyer first got together with bassist and composer Linda May-Han Oh and drummer/composer Tyshawn Sorey in 2021, when they released their brilliant album Uneasy. But with all three musicians having such busy careers, it seemed like it might be a kind of musical summit – the sort of thing that only happens once. Now, those same three gifted players have released a second album called Compassion, on which the trio's connected interplay can seem telepathic, as the musicians imagine future possibilities with warmth and clarity. The Vijay Iyer Trio plays some of these newer works, in-studio. Set list: 1. Tempest 2. Compassion 3. Ghostrumental

Duration:00:48:45

Good Time NYC Rock Unit Bodega Considers Consumerism

2/19/2024
NYC-based rock unit Bodega makes artful post-punk songs with brawny, catchy riffs and shouty gang vocals. Their lyrics contain politically-minded and perhaps cheeky commentaries on advertising, technology, pop culture, high art - and how we consume it all; oh- and on gentrification as well. They play bracing new tunes from the forthcoming album, Our Brand Could Be Yr Life, in-studio. -Caryn Havlik Set list: 1. Tarkovski 2. Shiny New Model 3. City Is Taken Our Brand Could Be Yr Life by BODEGA

Duration:00:35:07

A Rich Harvest of John Leventhal's Lyrical Guitar Work

2/15/2024
Guitarist and songwriter John Leventhal has spent almost a half century producing, playing for, and co-writing with some of the music world’s most familiar names – Elvis Costello, Shawn Colvin, Jim Lauderdale, Marc Cohn, Joan Osborne, Sarah Jarosz, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Willie Nelson, and of course, Rosanne Cash, to whom Leventhal is married. He’s won a fistful of Grammys, but the one thing he hasn’t done in all that time is a solo record. Until now. Rumble Strip is a collection of instrumentals, a few songs, and a surprising cover or two. John Leventhal plays some of these tunes in-studio. 1. Floyd Cramer's Dream 2. JL's Hymn No. 2 3. That's All I Know About Arkansas

Duration:00:36:22

Bluesman Bobby Rush on Funk, Chicken Heads, and the Music Business

2/12/2024
Bobby Rush is in the Blues Hall of Fame, and he’s won three Grammy awards. The first came when he was 83, the second four years later, and the third most recently this month. Now 90 years old, Bobby Rush still tours, dancing around the stage like a guy half – no, a quarter of his age, and not even COVID could stop him from writing and recording his latest album, called All My Love For You. Bobby Rush demonstrates how he put the funk into the blues, recounts what it was like enduring within the music business (he owns all his own publishing), and tells tales while playing the blues, in-studio. -Caryn Havlik Set list: 1. Let Me In Your House 2. Chicken Heads 3. Garbage Man

Duration:00:35:40

Trumpeter/Songwriter Keyon Harrold Stretches and Expands Jazz

2/8/2024
Trumpeter, singer and composer Keyon Harrold gained a lot of attention for his contribution to the Don Cheadle film Miles Ahead, where he played all of the Miles Davis parts on that Grammy-winning soundtrack. But Keyon’s first professional gig was with the rapper Common, and throughout his career he’s moved effortlessly between the worlds of jazz, hip hop, soul and R&B, as a trumpeter, and, as a singer and songwriter. His new album, his third, is called Foreverland, and Keyon Harrold and his band PLAY some of it, in-studio. (Serious emphasis on play. The band is a joy to watch! – Caryn Havlik) Set List: 1. Find Your Peace, feat. Stout 2. Don't Lie, feat. Malaya 3. Beautiful Day, feat. Malaya and Stout Foreverland by keyon harrold

Duration:00:40:46

Ute Lemper Singt Cabaret Songs of Weimar Berlin, In-Studio

2/5/2024
The German-born, New York-based singer and actress Ute Lemper's career has spanned a century of songs from the worlds of cabaret jazz, avant-garde pop, musical theater, even contemporary classical music. But when she sings the music of Kurt Weill, a much earlier German-born, NY-based artist, she has few equals. So when Carnegie Hall decided to launch its series exploring the music of the Weimar Republic, Ute Lemper had to have a featured role to play. On Friday, Feb. 9, she’ll be performing her tribute to Weimar Berlin at Zankel Hall, and she’s in the studio to give us a preview of what that’ll sound like. Ticket info for Ute Lemper at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in the round on Feb. 9. Set list: 1. Solomon Song/Pirate Jenny 2. Cabaret Songs (Medley of Sexual Liberation) 3. En Brecht/ Die Moritat von Mackie Messer

Duration:00:38:03

London's The Wandering Hearts Spin Folk Tales For Hard Times

2/1/2024
London-based country-folk-pop outfit The Wandering Hearts are known for their deft fingerpicking, rousing choruses, dark-hued lyrics, and sweet, close vocal harmonies. Their music is a blend of Laurel Canyon and British folk sensibilities, heartfelt songwriting and storytelling, and was a great fit at the recent official Americana Fest showcase in Nashville, TN. The Wandering Hearts play new songs from their latest release, ‘Mother’, in-studio. Set list: 1. River to Cry 2. Not Misunderstood 3. About America

Duration:00:33:28

Singer Britti Embraces Retro Pop, Country, and Soul

1/29/2024
The singer Britti is from Louisiana, and her debut LP, winningly titled Hello, I’m Britti, is like being introduced to someone who somehow already feels familiar. Britti’s songs are full of the classic sounds of vintage soul, New Orleans funk, blues, and even country/heartland rock. Her sultry croon, ranging from Sade-meets-second line to shimmering country-pop (like her childhood favorite Dolly Parton), on her Dan Auerbach-produced debut album, lounges atop a hazy retro vibe with both country twang and a horn section. Britti plays some of these new songs in a stripped-down setting with just voice and guitar, in-studio. Set list: 1. So Tired 2. Nothing Compares to You 3. Keep Running

Duration:00:29:06

Sinkane Crafts Music For Community and For Shaking It

1/25/2024
Sudanese-American bandleader Sinkane, aka Ahmed Gallab, weaves the sounds of Afrobeat, disco, soul, even krautrock into his irresistible, dance-ready songs. With his latest, We Belong, due out in April, Sinkane found inspiration in Black Arts, Music and Culture and sought out collaborations across a New York community of artists, musicians, poets, and authors. Those full gospel harmonies, a deeper understanding of composition, and connecting with people all generate a message of hope and belonging, and of shaking it. As Sinkane has quoted of late in some interviews, “Free your mind and your ass will follow!” Set list: 1. Everything is Everything 2. How Sweet Is Your Love 3. We Belong

Duration:00:33:06

Pianist Lara Downes Aims To Expand Classical Music

1/22/2024
American pianist Lara Downes has been redefining what it means to be a classical musician, often by expanding our definition of classical music. She’s championed the works of women and Black composers; she’s been a cultural activist and a broadcaster. Now, she’s commissioned a radical new arrangement of Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" by Puerto Rican composer Edmar Colón, to mark the 100 anniversary of Gershwin’s iconic piece. Lara Downes and Edmar Colón play some of "Rhapsody in Blue, Reimagined", in-studio. Set List: 1. Love Will Find A Way (Eubie Blake) 2. My Lord What A Mornin’ (trad/arr. H.T. Burleigh) / On Bended Knees (Burleigh arr of Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen) 3. Study in Blue (Gershwin/Edmar Colón)

Duration:00:37:44

Canadian-Based OKAN Fuses Afro-Cuban Chants and Rhythms With Jazz and Pop

1/18/2024
Canadian-based Afro-Cuban duo OKAN takes their name from the word for heart/soul in the Afro Cuban religion Santeria. Both co-leaders, composers and multi- instrumentalists Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne are classically-trained musicians (violin and percussion and orchestration); and their music combines the traditional chants and rhythms of the Afro-Cuban tradition with jazz, electronica, and pop. The Juno-Award winning OKAN plays compositions from their latest record, Okantomi, in-studio. Set list: 1. Oriki Oshun 2. Okantomi 3. La Reina del Norte

Duration:00:32:30

Fantastic Negrito's Fiery Blues with a Punk Attitude (Archives)

1/15/2024
Self-described “lifelong hustler,” Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, is better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, and makes “black roots music for everyone” - blues with a giant undercurrent of punkass. Fantastic Negrito’s songs tell of a hard life with some complete do-overs and a few near-death experiences. Coming from a crossroads with optional deals, his music might be informed just as much by California funk-punk (Bad Brains and Fishbone), hip hop, thrash metal, punk, Prince and his self-taught ways - specifically Dirty Mind (according to this Guardian interview) and the blues records he’d heard as a kid, visiting family in southern Virginia. Lately, his tunes have been placed and licensed for TV and film series (Empire, Hand of God, and in the case of his song “Working Poor,” Bernie Sanders’ political campaign.) But back in the early 2000's he had co-founded a record label, which grew into Oakland-based multimedia creative collective, the Blackball Universe cooperative, fed and financed with the publishing royalties of his own musical alter egos Chocolate Butterfly, Me and This Japanese Guy and Blood Sugar X. Fantastic Negrito's 2018 record, Please Don’t Be Dead, references his own near-fatal car crash, and is driven in part by political and social issues in these broken and fractured times. The record is full of heavy riffs, cheeky songwriting, playful musicianship, and a whole lot of surviving. It brings Fantastic Negrito to the studio to play some of these tunes. -by Caryn Havlik Watch the individual songs below:

Duration:00:29:27

Fantastic Negrito's Fiery Blues with a Punk Attitude (Archives)

1/15/2024
Self-described “lifelong hustler,” Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, is better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, and makes “black roots music for everyone” - blues with a giant undercurrent of punkass. Fantastic Negrito’s songs tell of a hard life with some complete do-overs and a few near-death experiences. Coming from a crossroads with optional deals, his music might be informed just as much by California funk-punk (Bad Brains and Fishbone), hip hop, thrash metal, punk, Prince and his self-taught ways - specifically Dirty Mind (according to this Guardian interview) and the blues records he’d heard as a kid, visiting family in southern Virginia. Lately, his tunes have been placed and licensed for TV and film series (Empire, Hand of God, and in the case of his song “Working Poor,” Bernie Sanders’ political campaign.) But back in the early 2000's he had co-founded a record label, which grew into Oakland-based multimedia creative collective, the Blackball Universe cooperative, fed and financed with the publishing royalties of his own musical alter egos Chocolate Butterfly, Me and This Japanese Guy and Blood Sugar X. Fantastic Negrito's 2018 record, Please Don’t Be Dead, references his own near-fatal car crash, and is driven in part by political and social issues in these broken and fractured times. The record is full of heavy riffs, cheeky songwriting, playful musicianship, and a whole lot of surviving. It brings Fantastic Negrito to the studio to play some of these tunes. -by Caryn Havlik Watch the individual songs below:

Duration:00:29:27

Fantastic Negrito's Fiery Blues with a Punk Attitude (Archives)

1/15/2024
Self-described “lifelong hustler,” Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, is better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, and makes “black roots music for everyone” - blues with a giant undercurrent of punkass. Fantastic Negrito’s songs tell of a hard life with some complete do-overs and a few near-death experiences. Coming from a crossroads with optional deals, his music might be informed just as much by California funk-punk (Bad Brains and Fishbone), hip hop, thrash metal, punk, Prince and his self-taught ways - specifically Dirty Mind (according to this Guardian interview) and the blues records he’d heard as a kid, visiting family in southern Virginia. Lately, his tunes have been placed and licensed for TV and film series (Empire, Hand of God, and in the case of his song “Working Poor,” Bernie Sanders’ political campaign.) But back in the early 2000's he had co-founded a record label, which grew into Oakland-based multimedia creative collective, the Blackball Universe cooperative, fed and financed with the publishing royalties of his own musical alter egos Chocolate Butterfly, Me and This Japanese Guy and Blood Sugar X. Fantastic Negrito's 2018 record, Please Don’t Be Dead, references his own near-fatal car crash, and is driven in part by political and social issues in these broken and fractured times. The record is full of heavy riffs, cheeky songwriting, playful musicianship, and a whole lot of surviving. It brings Fantastic Negrito to the studio to play some of these tunes. -by Caryn Havlik Watch the individual songs below:

Duration:00:29:27

Fantastic Negrito's Fiery Blues with a Punk Attitude (Archives)

1/15/2024
Self-described “lifelong hustler,” Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, is better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, and makes “black roots music for everyone” - blues with a giant undercurrent of punkass. Fantastic Negrito’s songs tell of a hard life with some complete do-overs and a few near-death experiences. Coming from a crossroads with optional deals, his music might be informed just as much by California funk-punk (Bad Brains and Fishbone), hip hop, thrash metal, punk, Prince and his self-taught ways - specifically Dirty Mind (according to this Guardian interview) and the blues records he’d heard as a kid, visiting family in southern Virginia. Lately, his tunes have been placed and licensed for TV and film series (Empire, Hand of God, and in the case of his song “Working Poor,” Bernie Sanders’ political campaign.) But back in the early 2000's he had co-founded a record label, which grew into Oakland-based multimedia creative collective, the Blackball Universe cooperative, fed and financed with the publishing royalties of his own musical alter egos Chocolate Butterfly, Me and This Japanese Guy and Blood Sugar X. Fantastic Negrito's 2018 record, Please Don’t Be Dead, references his own near-fatal car crash, and is driven in part by political and social issues in these broken and fractured times. The record is full of heavy riffs, cheeky songwriting, playful musicianship, and a whole lot of surviving. It brings Fantastic Negrito to the studio to play some of these tunes. -by Caryn Havlik Watch the individual songs below:

Duration:00:29:27

Fantastic Negrito's Fiery Blues with a Punk Attitude (Archives)

1/15/2024
Self-described “lifelong hustler,” Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, is better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, and makes “black roots music for everyone” - blues with a giant undercurrent of punkass. Fantastic Negrito’s songs tell of a hard life with some complete do-overs and a few near-death experiences. Coming from a crossroads with optional deals, his music might be informed just as much by California funk-punk (Bad Brains and Fishbone), hip hop, thrash metal, punk, Prince and his self-taught ways - specifically Dirty Mind (according to this Guardian interview) and the blues records he’d heard as a kid, visiting family in southern Virginia. Lately, his tunes have been placed and licensed for TV and film series (Empire, Hand of God, and in the case of his song “Working Poor,” Bernie Sanders’ political campaign.) But back in the early 2000's he had co-founded a record label, which grew into Oakland-based multimedia creative collective, the Blackball Universe cooperative, fed and financed with the publishing royalties of his own musical alter egos Chocolate Butterfly, Me and This Japanese Guy and Blood Sugar X. Fantastic Negrito's 2018 record, Please Don’t Be Dead, references his own near-fatal car crash, and is driven in part by political and social issues in these broken and fractured times. The record is full of heavy riffs, cheeky songwriting, playful musicianship, and a whole lot of surviving. It brings Fantastic Negrito to the studio to play some of these tunes. -by Caryn Havlik Watch the individual songs below:

Duration:00:29:27

The Unique Songcraft of Catalan Singer and Guitarist Lau Noah

1/11/2024
The singer and guitarist Lau Noah is based here in New York, but she’s originally from Catalonia in Spain, and her guitar playing reflects the sounds of Spanish classical and flamenco music. But there are also elements of Latin American music, jazz, pop, even bluegrass on her latest album. That’s because that record, called A Dos, is (as the title implies) a series of duets with people like jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, mandolinist Chris Thile, and pop star Jacob Collier. Lau Noah with fellow singer Elliott Skinner, plays some of these duets, in-studio. Set list: 1. Wooden Chair 2. Siete Lágrimas 3. If a Tree Falls in Love with a River Lau Noah's album release show for A Dos is on January 23rd at Joe's Pub

Duration:00:29:05

The Unique Songcraft of Catalan Singer and Guitarist Lau Noah

1/11/2024
The singer and guitarist Lau Noah is based here in New York, but she’s originally from Catalonia in Spain, and her guitar playing reflects the sounds of Spanish classical and flamenco music. But there are also elements of Latin American music, jazz, pop, even bluegrass on her latest album. That’s because that record, called A Dos, is (as the title implies) a series of duets with people like jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, mandolinist Chris Thile, and pop star Jacob Collier. Lau Noah with fellow singer Elliott Skinner, plays some of these duets, in-studio. Set list: 1. Wooden Chair 2. Siete Lágrimas 3. If a Tree Falls in Love with a River Lau Noah's album release show for A Dos is on January 23rd at Joe's Pub

Duration:00:29:05

The Unique Songcraft of Catalan Singer and Guitarist Lau Noah

1/11/2024
The singer and guitarist Lau Noah is based here in New York, but she’s originally from Catalonia in Spain, and her guitar playing reflects the sounds of Spanish classical and flamenco music. But there are also elements of Latin American music, jazz, pop, even bluegrass on her latest album. That’s because that record, called A Dos, is (as the title implies) a series of duets with people like jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, mandolinist Chris Thile, and pop star Jacob Collier. Lau Noah with fellow singer Elliott Skinner, plays some of these duets, in-studio. Set list: 1. Wooden Chair 2. Siete Lágrimas 3. If a Tree Falls in Love with a River Lau Noah's album release show for A Dos is on January 23rd at Joe's Pub

Duration:00:29:05

The Unique Songcraft of Catalan Singer and Guitarist Lau Noah

1/11/2024
The singer and guitarist Lau Noah is based here in New York, but she’s originally from Catalonia in Spain, and her guitar playing reflects the sounds of Spanish classical and flamenco music. But there are also elements of Latin American music, jazz, pop, even bluegrass on her latest album. That’s because that record, called A Dos, is (as the title implies) a series of duets with people like jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, mandolinist Chris Thile, and pop star Jacob Collier. Lau Noah with fellow singer Elliott Skinner, plays some of these duets, in-studio. Set list: 1. Wooden Chair 2. Siete Lágrimas 3. If a Tree Falls in Love with a River Lau Noah's album release show for A Dos is on January 23rd at Joe's Pub

Duration:00:29:05