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Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

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Press Release Archives


WXPN to honor Dye and World Cafe’s first 25 years of musical discovery with special events in March and the establishment of World Cafe Next Fund



ATTACHED PHOTO: World Cafe Host & Producer David Dye | Credit Joe del Tufo

PHILADELPHIA (NOVEMBER 14, 2016): At 4 PM ET today, David Dye announced to listeners of WXPN-FM his decision to step back from his full-time role as World Cafe Host and Producer after Friday, March 31, 2017. Dye will continue in a part-time capacity as a regular contributor to the nationally- distributed music program. Dye was joined by General Manager Roger LaMay, who talked about 25th anniversary celebration events as well as the future of the show.

WXPN, which produces World Cafe, will pay tribute to Dye with two celebratory 25th anniversary concerts, scheduled for March 3 and 4, 2017 at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. An invitation-only donor event in his honor will also take place at La Peg Brasserie at FringeArts in Philadelphia on March 1.

David Dye has been host of World Cafe since its launch on October 14, 1991. Distributed by NPR to more than 200 US radio stations and heard by nearly 600,000 listeners each week, World Cafe is known by artists, appreciative audiences, and the radio and music industries as an influential source for music discovery. The two-hour daily program features a signature mix of artist interviews with in-studio performances by both established and emerging artists, and a curated music selection that encompasses singer-songwriters, classic rock, indie rock, Americana, alt-country, blues, world music, R&B and soul. As the nation’s most listened-to public radio music program, its impact on the careers and audience awareness of thousands of artists is immeasurable.

World Cafe and Dye have received numerous awards, including two NFCB Golden Reel Awards, five "Best of Philly” awards from Philadelphia Magazine, NARAS Philadelphia Chapter’s "Hero Award," the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, and many radio industry trade citations.

Following an already extensive radio broadcasting career prior to World Cafe, Dye has been the voice and creative force of the show and its brand extensions. Among other significant events, he has shepherded the show through two studio locations, hosted visits by thousands of artists for exclusive interviews, performances, and recordings, overseen the issue of 40 Live at World Cafe CDs and two World Cafe books, visited 19 musical hotspots around the globe for the show’s “Sense of Place” series, and has seen two World Cafe Live restaurant-concert venues named for the show (located in Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE). Dye was recently identified by artist Bruce Springsteen in his new memoir as an influential early supporter of Springsteen’s music.

“On one hand, it is extremely hard to picture my life without hosting the World Cafe on a daily basis. It is the best job in radio, working with the most talented people,” said Dye. “For years I have had the opportunity to sit in the same room talking with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and thousands of others. Our 25th anniversary seems like the perfect juncture to get off the treadmill of daily radio and see what is next.”

LaMay said, “It’s impossible to measure the impact that David Dye has had on artists and audiences with World Cafe. The show’s tremendous success and high acclaim is due mainly to his efforts. We look forward to honoring him with some one-of-a-kind musical tributes and by making sure that his program has a long future of national musical discovery.”

“Across hundreds of public radio stations, David Dye has become a beloved national guide to great music and the creative artists who power our culture. He has built an important platform for music that will continue to benefit from his original and abiding vision,” said Anya Grundmann, NPR’s Vice President for Programming and Audience Development.

In addition to celebrating David Dye and the rich history of World Cafe with special events in March, WXPN will raise funds to build upon some of the elements that have made it successful, and to evolve and expand it to stay relevant and significant for years to come. The World Cafe Next Fund is intended to bring a wider array of voices and perspectives to World Cafe, and provide the means for it to impact a new generation of listeners.

A couple of recent initiatives are already helping to enable this effort: In October, radio and TV journalist, producer and host Talia Schlanger joined World Cafe as Contributing Host and Producer, bringing her enthusiasm, expertise and fresh perspective to the program. Also in October, a new Nashville hub for World Cafe was established in partnership with NPR Music, allowing for the deeper exploration of music emanating from that music hotbed and the surrounding Southern US region.

Dye also stated that he will continue to host the weekly WXPN Funky Friday program, and revealed plans to launch a new local weekend music show, with more details to come.

More announcements will be made about the March tribute events for David Dye and the 25th anniversary of World Cafe. For more information about World Cafe, visit http://www.xpn.org/world-cafe, http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/ and http://worldcafe.tumblr.com/. The website for WXPN is http://www.xpn.org.

Details
Published: 14 November 2016 - 16:00:00 EST

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About WXPN
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported, public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, Northeastern PA and Northwestern NJ at 91.9 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.XPN.org.​ The WXPN app brings all of WXPN to any mobile device. WXPN produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD, also available online.

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‘World Cafe Nashville’ celebrations Oct. 27 & 28 at City Winery, Nashville will feature performances by Eric Church, Steelism, more


PHILADELPHIA (OCTOBER 11, 2016): The NPR-distributed World Cafe music program and NPR Music have partnered to establish a new Nashville-based enterprise for creating content from Music City and the Southern US. The new entity, called World Cafe Nashville, will be launched with two special events at City Winery in Nashville featuring Eric Church, Steelism and other special guests on October 27 and 28.

With the establishment of World Cafe Nashville, the WXPN/Philadelphia-produced World Cafe music program and NPR Music will expand coverage of the depth and diversity of music emanating from Nashville and the Southern US, through artist recording sessions, interviews and other activities.

World Cafe, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017, is hosted by David Dye and presents interviews and performances with today’s essential and emerging artists. It is distributed by NPR and heard on more than 200 US radio stations, including Nashville-area public radio station WMOT-FM/Roots Radio 89.5. World Cafe also produces two weekly podcasts: World Cafe Words and Music, featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians, and World Cafe Next, which highlights up-and-coming artists who are making exciting, innovative music.

NPR Music presents music features, streams, live concerts and music news covering rock, pop, jazz, classical, hip-hop, R&B/soul, folk, Latin, world and electronica/dance.

World Cafe host David Dye said, “This commitment to a deeper dive on World Cafe into the music of Nashville and places like Muscle Shoals, Memphis, Atlanta and New Orleans is central to our exploration of regional roots music, whether it be Americana, R&B, gospel, blues or rock. This will be musical discovery with a southern accent.”

Nashville-based critic and correspondent for NPR Music and World Cafe contributor Ann Powers said, “Living here, I've come to believe it's the most exciting music city in the country right now. Nashville has it all: an incomparably rich musical legacy; a core of working musicians who've made lives here and are behind many of the past half-century's most memorable recordings; and an ever-expanding group of younger musicians making the Nashville sound ever more wide-reaching and innovative, while still grounded in America's musical roots. World Cafe's commitment to musical eclecticism matches the spirit of the Nashville I've come to love, and of the South in general in this decade, where so many surprises emerge from the seedbed of tradition.”

Two special events at City Winery in Nashville will help celebrate the launch of World Cafe Nashville: On Thursday, October 27, a VIP reception for members of the music industry and media will precede a solo performance by acclaimed country singer-songwriter Eric Church. On Friday, October 28, the “The Intoxicating Sounds of Steelism and Nashville's Femmes Fatales” featuring instrumental band Steelism and Lera Lynn, Caitlin Rose, and Ruby Amanfu will be presented. Both shows are free, with tickets to be distributed via World Cafe and WMOT. For more information about World Cafe, visit http://www.xpn.org/world-cafe and http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/. For more about NPR Music, visit http://www.npr.org/music/.

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About WXPN WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported, public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, Northeastern PA and Northwestern NJ at 91.9 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.XPN.org.​ The WXPN app brings all of WXPN to any mobile device. WXPN produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD, also available online.

About NPR Music NPR Music collaborates with NPR's newsmagazines, public radio Member stations and the passionate NPR community to celebrate great music in every genre. Visit NPR.org/music to find the complete Tiny Desk Concerts series, live music, extensive archives of performances, interviews and reviews of artists from all genres.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – October 3, 2016 – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, named Joseph as its October Artist To Watch. WXPN Music Director and Host Dan Reed presented the first of the month’s on-air segments today, October 3 in the 4 p.m. hour.

The name Joseph may be misleading, as this trio happens to be a sister-act. Allison, Meegan, and Natalie Closner named their band after the Oregon town where their grandfather once lived. As an aspiring performer, Natalie had the idea to bring her sisters together to write. The group then quickly formed as they wrote their debut, self-titled album Native Dreamer Kin in 2014. Their sound can be described as mesmerizing and hypnotic. After touring with James Bay and playing big festivals this summer such as Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Pickathon and more they will set out on a European tour this winter with Michael Kiwanuka. They recently released their ATO debut, I’m Alone, No You’re Not, produced by Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes) which they describe as “a master class in pristine 3-part harmony, traversing melodies and rhythms that are indelible and ambitious”. Joseph was at NonCOMM in May and will return to play WXPN’s Friday Free At Noon concert series on Wednesday, October 19. Their recently released single “Blood and Tears” was featured in an article on The Key, WXPN’s music blog (read more here http://thekey.xpn.org/2016/08/16/new-joseph-single/). “The album is gorgeous, and their singing is revelatory.” said Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming. “Listen to their session and interview and watch a VuHaus video of their song `White Flag’.” http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/2016/09/12/493624503/joseph-on-world-cafe

For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit: http://www.xpn.org/music-artist/artist-to-watch/item/4802-joseph-october-2016

Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.

WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.

Canadian broadcaster brings multi-media experience to new position with the NPR-distributed music program



PHILADELPHIA (SEPTEMBER 8, 2016): WXPN, the member-supported public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania and producer of the daily NPR-distributed music program World Cafe, today announced that Canadian broadcaster Talia Schlanger will join World Cafe as Contributing Host and Radio Producer. Schlanger will start in this new position on October 3.

Schlanger is widely known in Canada for her work as a host/interviewer/writer for popular CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) TV and radio programs. She is host, writer and technical producer of CBC Radio 2’s Weekend Morning, and interim host of the weekly national music program Canada Live. She is also the frequent guest host for Weekday Mornings with Tom Power, in addition to CBC Radio 1 programs q., As It Happens and Because News. For CBC TV, Schlanger is host and co-writer of CBC Music’s weekly Backstage Pass show, and has worked on several national network television specials, including CBC Music Festival. She won a 2014 Canadian Screen Award for producing CBC Music’s The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions.



“World Cafe listeners are going to love Talia,” said World Cafe Host and Producer David Dye. “She’s a true music lover who’s also interviewed a large number of artists in multiple genres, which is a required skill for World Cafe’s format and eclectic music mix.”

World Cafe, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in the coming year, features a wide range of music genres alongside live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists. The program is distributed to more than 200 US radio stations through NPR Music, and produces two weekly podcasts: World Cafe Words and Music, featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians, and World Cafe Next, highlighting up-and-coming artists who are making exciting, innovative music.

Before joining the CBC, Schlanger, a Toronto native, worked as an actress and singer in rock musicals, and spent a year performing across the US in the first national tour of Green Day’s American Idiot. In Toronto, she spent a year performing in Mamma Mia at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and understudied the two leads, Scaramouche and Oz, in the original Canadian company of Queen’s We Will Rock You at the Canon Theatre. She has also done TV work and voiceovers for commercials. She is a 2013 graduate of Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program.

"It's an honor and a thrill to be joining World Cafe,” said Schlanger. “I've long admired the incredible work being produced by the WXPN team. I'm so grateful to the CBC for the experience and opportunity it has given me, and am eager to start on this new adventure in Philadelphia!"

To learn more about World Cafe, visit World Cafe and here. Talia Schlanger can be followed on Twitter @TaliaSchlanger
About WXPN WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported, public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, Northeastern PA and Northwestern NJ at 91.9 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.XPN.org.​ The WXPN app brings all of WXPN to any mobile device. WXPN produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD, also available online.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – September 1, 2016 – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, named Kyle Craft as its September Artist To Watch.

Kyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the banks of the Mississippi. He’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town–it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll. That self-made talent drives every note of Dolls of Highland, Craft’s exhilarating, fearless solo debut. “This album is the dark corner of a bar,” he says. “It’s that feeling at the end of the night when you’re confronted with ‘now what?’’” And then there’s Craft’s unforgettable voice – ”I’m fully aware that I have a very abrasive, very loud voice, but Bob Dylan is the one that taught me to embrace that,” says Craft. With those influences as inspiration, Craft’s talent and singular creativity move the conversation into new and unpredictable places. And no question, this album is very much about moving forward. “After everything fell apart, it didn’t take very long for me to learn who I was and what I should be doing,” says Craft. Kyle Craft was most recently seen on the Free At Noon stage on Friday, August 12th, and his performance was featured in an article on The Key, WXPN’s music blog (read more here: http://thekey.xpn.org/2016/08/12/free-noon-flashback-kyle-craft/). “We’ve been playing the baroque-ish, Broadway-esque glam jam, ‘Eye of the Hurricane’ from Craft’s Sub Pop debut, Dolls Of Highland,” said Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming. “Those of us who saw him play Free At Noon and his sold out show at Boot & Saddle were impressed with his live performance.”

For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit: http://xpn.org/music-artist/artist-to-watch/item/4778-kyle-craft-september-2016

Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.

WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 1, 2016 – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, named The Marcus King Band its August Artist To Watch. WXPN Music Director and Host Dan Reed presented the first of the month’s on-air segments today, August 1, in the 4 p.m. hour. Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 20 years of age, hailing from Greenville, North Carolina, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout the young phenom’s 2nd full-length, self-titled LP, his first for Fantasy Records due to release on September 23. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls "soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock," the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts. The Marcus King Band were most recently seen on the River Stage at the XPoNential Music Festival, which took place on the Camden Waterfront July 22-24, and their rockin’ performance was featured in an article on The Key, WXPN’s music blog (read more here: http://thekey.xpn.org/2016/07/24/xpnfest-marcus-king-band/). “What can you say?” said Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming. “When the audience reacts as passionately as they did, watching a relatively unknown band like The Marcus King Band at our music festival last weekend, then you have to pay attention. King is a guitar prodigy, along the lines of Derek Trucks, who sounds wise beyond his years. The band completely cooked at #XPNfest and they left the audience enthralled.”

For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit: http://xpn.org/music-artist/artist-to-watch/item/4734-marcus-king-band-august-2016

Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.

WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – July 1, 2016 – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, named Adia Victoria as its July Artist To Watch. Assistant General Manager of Programming Bruce Warren presented the first of the month’s on-air segments today, July 1, in the 4 p.m. hour. Born in South Carolina and raised in the Seventh Day Adventist church, Adia Victoria is onto something very musically unique. There’s a spooky ambience to her music, and she’s been influenced by Fiona Apple and blues singer and songwriter Victoria Spivey. From blood-born howls to idiosyncratic phrasing, she is the big red dot saying “You Are Here” and is establishing a fresh reference point on the musical landscape. The Nashville-based artist travels the lands of rock, afro punk, and country, squarely situated in the continent of the Blues. Ask about her artistic goals, and the songwriter/vocalist will say, “I want to shine a light on the unseen, and speak the unspeakable.” Adia Victoria is a truth teller. Rolling Stone Magazine featured Adia Victoria as one of “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” The Village Voice called her an “eerie, intriguing songwriter,” with “bone chilling guitar riffs and lyrics topped with candid scorn. Vogue highlighted the recording artist as one of “5 Beauties Who Answer to Afropunk’s Rebellious Call,” and her show at Johnny Brenda’s in August of 2015 was featured in an article on The Key, WXPN’s music blog. “I went to see Adia perform at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly and was blown away,” said Bruce Warren. “It was all there. A charismatic performance and confident stage presence. The engaging interaction she had with the audience. The way she weaves her love of the blues and her Southern upbringing into a unique mix of electric blues, garage and punk flavored rock, and dark roots and R&B. Adia is blazing her own path and it’s refreshing to hear and see.”

For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit: http://www.xpn.org/music-artist/artist-to-watch/item/4698-adia-victoria-july-2016/

Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.

WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.
WXPN will broadcast acclaimed American Routes radio program starting this Sunday, June 19

Show’s new public radio home in Philadelphia will air it Sundays from 3 to 5 PM

PHILADELPHIA (JUNE 15, 2016): WXPN, the member-supported, public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania, announced today that it will broadcast the popular syndicated American Routes radio program starting on Sunday, June 19. The weekly, two-hour music program will be heard on WXPN 88.5 FM Sundays from 3 PM to 5 PM.

Produced in New Orleans and distributed by PRX (Public Radio Exchange), American Routes presents a broad range of American music — blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical - and incorporates documentary features and artist interviews. Since its launch in 1998, American Routes has explored the shared musical and cultural threads in these American styles and genres of music, and how they are distinguished.

Until recently, American Routes was broadcast by WHYY-FM in Philadelphia. When the show needed a new home, WXPN decided to carry it.

“We welcome American Routes and its listeners to the WXPN community and airwaves,” said Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager for Programming, WXPN. “So much of what American Routes does fits into what WXPN is about in the vibrant and broad continuum of roots music. Producer and host Nick Spitzer incorporates R&B, blues, soul, New Orleans funk, hot zydeco music from Louisiana, elements of jazz and folk into his musical mix. He always very thoughtfully and thoroughly tells great stories about the music with the musicians who create it.”

Warren noted that Spitzer was a program director for WXPN during the early 1970s, and also contributed some expert insights to WXPN’s recent year-long, multi-media Zydeco Crossroads project.

Spitzer is a folklorist and a professor of anthropology and American studies at Tulane University in New Orleans who specializes in American music and the cultures of the Gulf South. After obtaining his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, he received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Texas in 1986, with his dissertation on zydeco music and Afro-French Louisiana culture and identities.

“It will be a pleasure to join XPN’s soundscape,” said Spitzer. “My hope is that in a small way, we can all remind radio stations and listeners in America and globally that songs and stories, music and culture help us appreciate life’s trials and triumphs, and the many ways to express our shared humanity. As the old hymn goes, ‘We’ll understand it better by and by…’ or as Roy Brown wrote (and Elvis sang), ‘Well I heard the news… there’s good rockin’ tonight!’”

For more about American Routes, visit http://americanroutes.wwno.org, and for more about WXPN, visit http://xpn.org.
PHILADELPHIA (JUNE 13, 2016): A celebration of the new sounds of Latin America can be experienced on Sunday, July 10 when the Latin Roots Live! concert series presents Nuevofest, featuring performances by seven outstanding Latin alternative artists from 6 P.M. to 2 A.M. at FringeArts in Philadelphia (doors open at 5 P.M.). Nuevofest is free and open to the public via advance RSVP.

Fans of Latin alternative music from greater Philadelphia and beyond are expected to attend the all-ages Nuevofest, which presents Latin alternative artists with far-reaching musical roots. Now in its fourth year, Nuevofest is part of the WXPN Latin Roots Live! series of free concerts featuring live performances inspired by Latin Roots, the bi-weekly series heard on NPR’s World Cafe radio program. Latin Roots explores and exposes to American audiences the vast variety of music from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. Latin Roots Live! is produced by Philadelphia public radio station WXPN 88.5 FM in partnership with AfroTaino Productions and made possible by the William Penn Foundation.

Nuevofest will feature performances by these seven artists, who represent the Latin alternative genre’s variety and diversity:

  • iLe
    Already popular as a vocalist with Puerto Rico’s world-renowned alternative/hip-hop/rock group Calle 13, iLe is quickly gaining wider notice for her brand new album iLevitable, which NPR recently described as “a meticulously crafted album of boleros and mid-tempo, folk-inspired songs that showcase her gorgeously old-school singing” that “establishes her immediately as a first-class interpreter of the classic sounds that flow through Latin America.” www.ilevitable.com
  • THE CHAMANAS
    This five-piece fronterizo (border) band from Chihuahua, Mexico uniquely melds traditional Mexican folklore, bossa nova, indiepop, danzon and more to musically represent, communicate, and connect the border areas of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. https://www.facebook.com/thechamanas
  • CARTAS A FELICE
    Cartas a Felice describes their music as “a nostalgic carousel between folk, blues and swing.” The young five-member band from El Salvador also exhibits a touch of rockabilly, as heard on their two albums, Mango Swing and Parque Infantil, and have referenced film director Quentin Tarantino as an influence on their music. http://cartasafelice.com
  • QUITAPENAS
    With a name that reinforces its mission to make you forget your worries and dance, QUITAPENAS (“to remove worries”) emerged in 2011 from California’s Inland Empire to deliver tropical, Afro-Latino, polyrhythmic funk that spans eras and continents - Mexico, Angola, Colombia, Guatemala — with the eyes and ears of musicologists. http://quitapenasmusic.com
  • CALMA CARMONA
    Already a star who’s opened for Beyoncé and sold out arenas in her native Puerto Rico, “cosmic” Latin soul singer Calma Carmona has electrified audiences across the globe with her tropical grooves, sultry vocals and magnetic aura. Raves for her 2015 EP Presentiment from Vibe, NPR’S Alt.Latino, and many more have set the stage for her upcoming new album and an East Coast spring and summer tour that includes the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem as well as Nuevofest. http://www.calmacarmona.com
  • GASOLINA
    Peru-born, Philly-based DJ Precolumbian and musical partner Dame Luz have been busy building a fanbase for their “fuego urbano” mixes, featuring elements of reggaeton, Latin trap, dembow, dancehall and more. They are guaranteed to get you on the dance floor, which is Gasolina’s tool for community building, transcending borders and labels, escaping oppression, and creating safe places for all. https://www.facebook.com/precolumbiana
  • SEXY ZEBRAS
    Explosive, punk-inspired Spanish rock trio Sexy Zebras recently played the Rock in Rio Festival and will play Chicago’s Ruidofest this summer, evidence of their near-world domination. Often described as “unapologetic,” “honest” and “wild,” the band has dominated their native Spain since forming in 2005, and were nominated for Best Spanish Artist in the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards. They’ve also garnered representation or endorsements from Live Nation Spain, Nike and Kia Motors. Raw and fearless, their high energy will be on full display at Nuevofest. http://www.sexyzebras.com


Advance RSVPs, required to attend Nuevofest, can be made at www.latinroots.org, where more about the free Latin Roots Live! concert series can be explored. FringeArts is located at 140 N. Columbus Boulevard (at Race Street) in Philadelphia, PA 19106. Follow Nuevofest and Latin Roots Live! on social media by using #Nuevofest2016 and/or #LatinRootsLive.

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About WXPN WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported, public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, Northeastern PA and Northwestern NJ at 91.9 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.XPN.org.​ The WXPN app brings all of WXPN to any mobile device. WXPN produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD, also available online. About AfroTaino Productions AfroTaino Productions focuses on arts and culture event programming, multicultural audience development, and entertainment solutions. The company emerged in 2005 as the result of their partners’ combined expertise, passion and commitment to serve as agents of change. Since then, AfroTaino Productions has co-developed cross-cultural strategies for brands and corporations, executed comprehensive music marketing campaigns globally, and presented internationally-praised talent in some of the best concert halls and venues on the East Coast.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – June 1, 2016 – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, named Karl Blau as its June Artist To Watch. WXPN Music Director and Host Dan Reed presented the first of the month’s on-air segments today, June 1, in the 4 p.m. hour. Karl Blau is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and DIY-er from Anacortes, Washington. He has released more than 40 records in 20 or so years, many self-released in handmade packaging and mailed to subscribers, and others on iconic indie Northwest record labels like K and Knw-Yr-Own. Blau has also toured solo and recorded for years with Laura Veirs and other bands. He recently released Introducing. It’s a collection of cover tunes – forgotten hits and deep cuts – written in the late 60s and 70s by songwriters Tom T. Hall, Waylon Jennings, Don Gibson, Barry Gibb, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Rush, and others. The album was produced by Tucker Martine, with backing vocals by Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Laura Veirs. Karl’s cover of a Link Wray song, “Fallin’ Rain” was an XPN Gotta Hear Song of the Week, (http://thekey.xpn.org/2016/04/18/karl-blau/) and he was featured by David Dye as one of his World Cafe Next artists. (http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/2016/04/25/475592690/world-cafe-next-karl-blau) “Blau has blown our minds with such a warm and soulful collection of songs on his new album,” said Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming. “Why did it take so long for us to discover this guy? We’re glad we did.”

For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit: http://www.xpn.org/music-artist/artist-to-watch/item/4594-karl-blau-june-2016

Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.

WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.

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