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World Cafe

Monday - Friday 2PM to 4PM

Since 1991, World Cafe®, is the premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country. The show is hosted by Talia Schlanger. The show's guest roster has included Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Dave Matthews, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Dolly Parton, The Shins, Lucinda Williams, Paul McCartney, Ani Difranco, Damien Rice, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, REM, Rachael Yamagata, David Byrne, Yo Yo Ma, Billy Joel, Lyle Lovett, Bela Fleck, Moby, Taj Mahal, Coldplay, Sting, and The xx, among hundreds of others.

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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