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World Cafe

Weeknights 7-9 p.m.

World Cafe launched in 1991. Distributed by NPR to more than 200 U.S. 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 mix of artist interviews with in-studio performances by both established and emerging artists. The music selection 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.

Ways to Connect

Ridgewood, N.J., rock band Real Estate put out its first album in 2009, but the group started playing together a lot earlier than that. Like so many suburban rock bands do, the founding members met in high school and played in backyards and basements.

Singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz has been touring since she was 16 years old, so the 2020 quarantine has been an especially unusual year for her.

Nigel Chapman is always ... thinking. When you speak to him, it's almost like you can see the wheels spinning in his brain, like he's always on the brink of a new discovery ... about himself, about creativity, about the universe... and about music. And that makes sense, because Chapman, the frontman of the Canadian band Nap Eyes, spent a big chunk of his life working in biochemistry, in science.

Hispanic Heritage Month On World Cafe: The Playlist

Sep 14, 2020

World Cafe celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. To celebrate we're taking a musical journey throughout Latin America, through cities in Central America, South America, and Mexico to explore the rising Latinx voices and sounds that sometimes fall under the radar. Discover new music by musicians from Guatemala City, San Salvador, Lima, Costa Rica, Ecuador and more in our playlist below.

Today we've got a mini-concert with the up and coming duo, Carolina Story. Before we get to that, we introduce you to the newest member of the World Cafe team, Jessie Scott. Jessie's joining us from WMOT in Nashville, and you might have heard one of her interviews on the show before, but it was time for a proper introduction.

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray of Indigo Girls are not only accomplished songwriters and performers in the midst of a 35-year career.

August's edition of Heavy Rotation, chosen by NPR member stations, features new music from Sylvan Esso, Sault, London rapper Little Simz and more.

All of this month's picks are available to stream on the Heavy Rotation Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page. And don't forget that you can discover all the amazing music programming happening across the country by clicking the links to each station's website, included below.

Can you believe it's almost the end of August and that summer's almost over? Seems like it was just yesterday that World Cafe's Nashville Correspondent, Ann Powers of NPR Music, was here in May to talk about her favorite new tunes.

A few months into the pandemic, in mid-June, Phoebe Bridgers released her second full-length solo album, Punisher.

Up until about a decade ago, Bright Eyes was an incredibly prolific band. The group released a new album almost every year or two since it began in 1998. And then, after the 2011 album The People's Key, Bright Eyes' output stopped.

"I feel like we kind of manifested this."

That's Becca Mancari's playful, pop-psychology-informed proclamation to her music-making peer and fellow interviewee S.G. Goodman, near the end of our three-way Zoom session. Mancari is referring to the sense of kinship the two singer-songwriters have shared ever since a six-month period several years back, when they were both based in Nashville. Of course, we at World Cafe were unaware that they had a track record of comparing outlooks, talking shop and even, on one occasion, sharing the use of a tour van.

It's been eight years since Kathleen Edwards released her last album, and it really seemed like it was going to be her last. After 2012's Voyageur, Kathleen quit music and opened a cafe, the aptly named Quitters Coffee. Now she's back and to celebrate, I'm heading to Stittsville, Ontario, Canada to host her album release party at that very same coffee shop.

Title tracks often capture the mood, vibe and direction of an album.

Things are very different in 2020, and maybe David Longstreth had a hunch when he started work on the new project from the Dirty Projectors, a band with a lineup that has consistently rotated around him over the last 20 years. They jettisoned the traditional album format for a series of five EPs.

In 2013, Ondara got a green card. He packed up his things in Nairobi, Kenya, where he grew up and moved to Minnesota, because that's where his hero, Bob Dylan, was born. In the years since, Ondara — formerly J.S.

Around the country, many communities are struggling with the effects of the pandemic, economic uncertainty and civil unrest. But despite the tremendous challenges, there are still steady broadcasts coming out of our treasured public radio music stations. Since March, they haven't missed a beat. With some DJs working from home and others having to go to work at their stations, they provide a much needed resource: a respite from the news, a friendly voice that fills a room, the sound of hope that one day this stressful time will be behind us and of course, music.

Are you someone who believes that people can fundamentally change, or do you think we just are who we are? If you chose the former, you've got something in common with my guest today. Perfume Genius is led by artist Mike Hadreas, and today you will hear him talk about his belief that everyone has the ability to profoundly change who they are and how he himself has experienced change over the last couple of years.

Sitting down over Zoom to chat from her home in Murray, Ky., S.G. Goodman's got her dog by her side and seltzer in her cup.

Even if you're not familiar with Jonathan Wilson's music, you may have heard his work before.

Rufus Wainwright has been making music pretty much his entire life. It's almost as if he were destined to do it, considering his pedigree: Rufus is the son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate McGarrigle; his sister, musician Martha Wainwright; his half-sister, singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche.

One of the best things about summer time is the live shows, right? Concerts! Music festivals! But this summer is going to feel a little different after most shows have been canceled due to the pandemic.

So today, World Cafe is bringing live music to you with an imaginary music festival of all live tracks. And since it's imaginary, it means we were able to "book" anyone we wanted — RUSH, Aretha Franklin, Wilco and Jackson Browne, all on the same huge lineup.

New York-based singer-songwriter Paul Beaubrun was born into the legendary musical family behind Boukman Eksperyans, one of Haiti's most famous bands. But in recent years, Paul has also made a name for himself as a solo artist thanks in part to two stellar albums under his own name and through collaborations with artists like Jackson Browne, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jenny Lewis and Arcade Fire.

Outlaw country is kind of tricky to define. It's a subgenre that really picked up steam back in the 1970s when artists like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wanted to go in a different direction from the polished mainstream country world.

All around the country, NPR member stations are not only a vital source of news but music, arts and culture, too. We are grateful that music stations never stopped providing their unique blend of programming for listeners during this ongoing pandemic. They also provided critical support for their local music economies.

We usually ask our stations to pick songs that are in heavy rotation on their broadcast logs for this series. But given that we're halfway through 2020, we wanted to know our station's favorite songs of the year so far.

Sweet Crude, a six-piece band from New Orleans, combines English and Louisiana French, a dialect that has evolved over hundreds of years, mostly in southern Louisiana. The band's percussive sound is the result of classical training and youthful enthusiasm.

Meg Remy's musical roots are in the DIY punk world, and when she first started making music as U.S. Girls more than a decade ago, she played everything herself. But over time, the sound and lineup of evolved. The new U.S. Girls album, Heavy Light, features up to 20 musicians recording in the studio at the same time.

The sounds of Los Angeles band Triangle Fire may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term "Latin music." But KCSN's The Latin Alt program director Byron Gonzalez defines Latin Alternative as "nothing from the mainstream."

World Cafe has been on the air for almost 30 years. Thirty years of conversations and sessions from all kinds of artists — from big, huge artists to new artists who would eventually go on to become big, huge artists. John Mayer falls into that last category.

Update 5/29 2 p.m. ET: The archive of the Premiere event is temporarily available below.

The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has announced the premiere of Unmaking Unfollow The Rules, a behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling the extraordinary creation of his new album, Unfollow The Rules, his first in eight years.

Today we're sharing an incredible story that Mikel Jollett, the lead singer of The Airborne Toxic Event, has chronicled both in the written word and in song. Jollett had a pretty dramatic childhood: He was born into a cult called Synanon and had to go on the run with biological mother.

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