Talia Schlanger

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.

Schlanger is a proud alumna of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts program. Previously she worked as a professional actress and singer, including performing in the first national US tour of Green Day's rock opera American Idiot, Mirvish Productions' original Canadian company of Queen's We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia!. Born and raised in Toronto, Schlanger denies the accusation that she's biased toward Canadian bands. But she is proud to introduce American audiences to a lot of them.

When I spoke to Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney about their new album, Let's Rock!, as The Black Keys, they joked around about themselves a lot.

When Gloria Gaynor says "God has been so good to me," she wants to make something clear.

"People often think that when you say God has been good to you it means that you've had a wonderful, carefree life," she says. "Not so at all. But I say that because he's brought me through so much unscathed."

Briston Maroney came into our studio with green-tinged curly long hair and a plaid flannel shirt — looking way more Kurt Cobain than Carrie Underwood. I had to double check my notes before asking him about his experience auditioning for American Idol when he was still in high school.

Jimmy Horn was on a road trip with a friend as a teenager when their car broke down in New Orleans. Jimmy's first thought? "I felt like I was born to be here." So he never left. Since then, Jimmy has devoted his life to studying, playing and sharing the music of The Big Easy.

I'll never forget the thrill of watching Tank and the Bangas' submission to NPR Music's 2017 Tiny Desk Contest for the first time.

Watching Molly Tuttle's fingers fly across a guitar with dizzying speed and graceful precision is nothing short of remarkable.

Summer's here and the time is right for looking back on some of our favorite World Cafe sessions of the year! Let's just say, it's been an inspiring one so far.

It's been about a year since World Cafe caught up with Willie Nelson, and he's been busy! Willie just released his latest album called Ride Me Back Home, made with his producer-collaborator Buddy Cannon.

When it comes to the airwaves, World Cafe is NPR's most popular music radio show. More than 200 public radio stations, from all corners of the country, carry the two-hour program. NPR.org visitors might only be familiar with the show's performance chats with essential and emerging musicians, but the majority of World Cafe is new music from your favorite (and soon to be favorite) musicians, with classic songs sprinkled throughout.

The first thing people usually say about Greensky Bluegrass is that the band's live shows are just wild. The members mix the energy of stadium rock with the spirit of jam bands, and they play bluegrass instruments, like banjo, mandolin and dobro through a surprisingly psychedelic set of effects pedals.

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi are both gifted multi-instrumentalists and devoted students of music history.

The members Ace of Cups came together in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood around the Summer of Love in the late 1960s.

Hayes Carll has been making music for nearly two decades. Early on, he focused more on telling other people's stories than his own.

The night before Lizzo swooped off a 5 a.m. flight and into World Cafe, her colossal album Cuz I Love You made her the highest streaming artist on Spotify.

Just over a minute into her new collection of singles, Being Again, Norah Jones declares "I will rise." Her vocal power is arresting and floats over heartbeat percussion and ambient piano.

Musical pioneer and mandolin star Sam Bush is the subject of a documentary called Revival: The Sam Bush Story, which traces Sam's musical trajectory from a kid who grew up on country and bluegrass in Kentucky to one of the founders of the band New Grass Revival to one of the key influencers in modern Americana.

Many of Ryan Bingham's life stories sound like country songs in and of themselves. Bingham was raised between New Mexico, California and Texas. His family moved around a lot when he was growing up as his dad struggled to find work. Bingham left home at 17 to ride in the rodeo before picking up the guitar.

With huge hits like "Love Train" and "Back Stabbers," the formidable band The O'Jays brought the sound of Philadelphia soul to the airwaves back in the early '70s, along with messages of love and unity.

Fifty years ago, the band Nat Turner Rebellion made a funky album in Philadelphia that could have been a total classic. The band had a record deal, fans and, according to founder Joe Jefferson the members were "crowd killers." But then, it all fell apart and the album has been pretty much buried in audio archives — until now.

The Head and the Heart's latest album, Living Mirage, is warm, open and definitely leans hard on the "heart" part of the band's name. The band went to Joshua Tree in the desert to create the music. The trip was bassist Chris Zasche's idea — he thought the wide-open landscape would give the member's all a chance to start fresh and maybe see themselves differently.

The songs on Yola's debut full-length solo album, Walk Through Fire, ring out with the triumphant air of someone who has withstood the flames and the heat en route to achieving their dreams. The title is a metaphor for some of the tribulations Yola has faced – including experiencing homelessness in London, and enduring an emotionally abusive relationship. The title is also a nod to the time Yola's dress literally caught fire a few years ago, and sent her house up in flames.

Karen O is a punk rock icon known for snarling, searing live shows as lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

David Bazan has been releasing solo records steadily for the past decade, but Phoenix marks his first album returning as Pedro the Lion in 15 years. The record was inspired by Phoenix, Ariz., where Bazan lived until he was 12 years old.

As you may guess from the title of her third solo album, Leyla McCalla tackles social and economic issues pretty directly on The Capitalist Blues. The multi-instrumentalist and Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna sings about everything from injustice and poverty to her daughter's experience with elevated levels of lead.

Foals' latest album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1, came out in March. Part 2 comes out in the fall. The band has been releasing stadium-sized songs for just over a decade, and this time around, it made a couple changes in pursuit of ultimate creative freedom.

What could be better than a new project built on the mutual fandom and friendship of two of our World Cafe favorites? Phoebe Bridgers grew up as a fan of Conor Oberst's band Bright Eyes, while Oberst became an instant fan of Bridgers when they played a show together a few years ago in LA.

Patty Griffin had written only one song for a new album when her breast cancer diagnosis changed everything. The drugs and radiation she took in were so physically depleting that she lost her voice. And although Patty's had a long career in music that includes winning a Grammy, she was left wondering whether she should continue making music at all.

On her wonderful new album The Question, Anna Tivel zooms in on the kinds of people who don't usually get the red carpet treatment and makes them the stars of her songs. From the janitor sweeping up garbage at the theater late at night to a mother experiencing homelessness, Tivel's characters are so vivid and nuanced that each song could sustain its own feature film.

When Mikaela Straus, who records as King Princess, says "I've never been subtle. I don't think now is the time," she means it. Straus is a producer, multi-instrumentalist, writer and emerging gay icon with incredible confidence charisma and the musical chops to back it up.

Pages