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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.

Emile Mosseri wrote the moving soundtrack to the family drama film Minari , (about a Korean-American family struggling to achieve the American dream in the 1980’s) and has been nominated for an Academy Award for it. (It's also up for best director, Lee Isaac Chung, and best film.) The pianist and songwriter also wrote the scores to The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Kajillionaire. He plays some of his Oscar-nominated music for Minari for us at the piano and drops a hint about his forthcoming collaboration with electronic musician Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith as well. Set List: "Minari Suite," …


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New Orleans trumpeter, composer, producer, and instrument designer Christian Scott, also known as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (in 2011, he de-Westernized his name with these two extensions, names from the Ghanaian, as a nod to suppressed histories), ma
Angélique Kidjo is a force of nature. The globetrotting Beninese singer has won numerous Grammys, collaborated with Alicia Keys, David Byrne, Philip Glass, and Branford Marsalis, and curated a recent Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall. But the finale i
“Noise gives me comfort,” says BBC Jazz Award-winning pianist Neil Cowley, whose long and varied career ranges from early classical training to stints in triphop and funk bands, and his acoustic groove jazz piano trio (dissolved in 2018). Oh - and there
Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites are an essential rite of passage for all cellists, being "some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello" (Wikipedia.) Alisa Weilerstein discusses what she finds to be the
Nigerian musician Femi Kuti famously hasn’t listened to another artist’s music in over a decade. It’s tempting to think that’s because he’s the son of one of Nigeria’s greatest musical minds, the late superstar Fela Kuti—the weight of history, expectatio
Full of buzzing energy and ready to burst, guitarist Benjamin Booker is a punk & grit-infused songwriter whose ecstatic and soulful sounds channel vintage soul-rock, gospel and blues. The Tampa-born musician recently took up residence in Mexico for i
Guitarist Gary Lucas has played with Captain Beefheart, written hit songs with Jeff Buckley and Joan Osborne, and covered everything from 1930s Chinese pop to classical music. He even played with the Yale Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of Leonard Be
Singer/songwriter Anais Mitchell might be best known for her take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Hadestown. In 2012, she came out with a record called Young Man In America -- an album full of mythical characters and stories from our own place and t
Both old and new, Austin-based band Black Pumas is centered around guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada and 27-year-old songwriter Eric Burton. Grammy Award-winning Quesada has played in Grupo Fantasma and Brownout, and accompanied artists from Prince t
Lake Street Dive brings the retro 70’s pop with R&B groove, combining light with dark in a crafty way. Formed in school at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, all five members can sing, and admit to being “a geeky bunch”, and “a bunch of
Jamaican-born, North Carolina-based singer and songwriter Sanya N’Kanta has written songs about race and immigration, but his new EP is about the simple pleasures of family and home. N’Kanta started off in music producing hip hop, but he’s adept at all
Singer/songwriter/arranger/guitarist Elise Okusami, who records as Oceanator (supervillain or superhero?), came up in the DC punk scene, playing drums, guitar, and bass; she then learned fingerpicking by listening to Elliott Smith records. Okusami is the
Elizabeth Ziman is a classically-trained pianist, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who leads the long-running indie band Elizabeth And The Catapult. Her new album is sincerely, e – a wry, poignant, affecting response to the pandemic, mostly c
LNZNDRF is a band composed of Scott and Bryan Devendorf of The National, and Ben Lanz and Aaron Arntz of Beirut. They improvise their CAN-influenced drone- fuzz psych jams, then edit and structure them into long-form songs, with or without vocals. With p
Amsterdam-based Altin Gün plays songs rooted in traditional Turkish folk tunes and Anatolian rock that have fallen down the rabbit hole of psychedelic funk, combining baglama/saz riffs, vocal melodies, fuzzy bass, wah-wah guitars and analogue organs. On
It's impossible not to be transported by Rokia Traoré's voice and unique adaptation of rock. The daughter of a diplomat, Traoré spent her childhood traveling to Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and France, and her travels exposed her to jazz, classical, I
CARM is the work of CJ Camerieri, trumpeter and French horn player of the band yMusic, and the result of a nickname earned in the midwest. On CARM’s self- titled debut, his original songs toe and test the boundary lines between jazz, classical, pop, and t
Minimalism, classical music, and electronic dance music all come together in the pulsating music of the German-Swiss duo Grandbrothers. Using live processing of the piano (the insides and all) as its primary source, the duo creates an irresistible groove
Django Django is a quartet of British art-psych rockers who make hazy jangly electro-art-pop that hearkens to earlier times – say the 1960’s 70’s, 80’s - and the sounds of today. Their songs veer from lo-fi bedroom creations, three- part harmony-driven sw