David Dye

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafeis produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dye launched his distinguished broadcasting career as host of a progressive music show on WMMR 93.3 FM, a pioneering progressive rock station in Philadelphia. During his four-year tenure, Dye won accolades for his taste and laid back presentation. After a five-year stint programming radio stations in Maine, he returned to Philadelphia where he gained public radio experience at WHYY before being recruited in 1981 by alternative rock station WIOQ 102.1 FM where he made his mark on the music scene for nearly a decade.

In 1989, Dye took his musical quest to WXPN where he hosted the station's Sleepy Hollow radio program. Two years later, Dye was asked to spearhead research on the viability of a new public radio program. The research revealed an audience need for a new kind of musical format - one that was intelligent, diverse and would give musical guests a showcase for their artistic expression. Based on the findings, Dye went to work to create a unique program of musical discovery where listeners would be introduced to an eclectic blend of contemporary sounds from legendary and up-and-coming artists. World Cafewas born.

Since launching World Cafein 1991, Dye has served as the host of this nationally acclaimed show, now syndicated on more than 250 public radio stations across the United States. Every week, Dye brings out the best in interviews with internationally known artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Joni Mitchell. He has conducted nearly 4,500 interviews during his 20 years with the program. He introduces a half-million listeners each week to newcomers like Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, PJ Harvey, Sheryl Crow, Beck, LCD Soundsystem and Amos Lee.

World Cafe and Dye have received numerous awards including: two NFCB Gold Reel Awards, Album Network's "Best Triple A Air Talent," five Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly Awards," the Philadelphia Chapter of NARAS "Hero Award," the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and numerous radio industry trade magazine citations. In 2006, Dye was named the "Triple A Air Personality of the Year" by Radio & Records.

Alt-psychedelic quintet Coke Weed is from picturesque Bar Harbor, well up the Maine coast. The band just released its third album, Back To Soft, which took nine months to make and is — despite the title — its heaviest release so far.

Lead by songwriter Milan McAlevey, the band has immersed itself in '60s psych-rock, pledging allegiance to the likes of Jefferson Airplane. So that makes singer Nina Donghia the group's Signe Toly Anderson.

Steve Martin is a true Renaissance man, having run the gamut of accomplishments from acting to writing to art collecting. He's also an award-winning banjo player, offering easy, lilting banjo melodies alongside former New Bohemian Edie Brickell's lyrics on the duo's latest album, Love Has Come For You.

In this installment of Latin Roots, the World Cafe team travels to Fidel Nadal's home studio in Buenos Aires for a session with a reggae performer who truly owns his genre. Nadal has 15 solo records to his name, and his album Forever Together was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2011.

Before fully going solo, Nadal spent a lot of time as a member of the punk-reggae band Todos Tus Muertos, which made six albums between 1988 and 2010. Hear three songs in this World Cafe session, recorded live in Buenos Aires.

Jeff Lynne isn't quite at the forefront of '70s and '80s classic rock, but he was responsible for some formidable records with Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys; later, he produced releases for Wilbury collaborators Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison.

Bombino On World Cafe

Jul 24, 2013

Nomad is an appropriate title for Bombino's new album; a member of the Tuareg tribe in Saharan Africa, the guitar was first relocated to a refugee camp in Algeria, where he learned to play his instrument. In 2011, he went into exile in Burkina Faso, which led to the making of his first album, Agadez.

Brett and Rennie Sparks have inhabited a unique musical world together since the '90s. As The Handsome Family, husband Brett sings and writes the melodies while wife Rennie focuses on the lyrics; the resulting ghost stories and murder ballads have won the band an intense cult following. After years spent in Chicago, where Wilco helped boost its profile, The Handsome Family now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

Aisha Burns is best known as the violinist in the chamber-folk band Balmorhea. But in the last few years, Burns has left her comfort zone to write her own songs and play them on guitar. On her debut album, Life in the Midwater, there's a delicate intimacy to her approach. Hear two songs from the new album, which is due out in September.

Kassin On World Cafe

Jul 19, 2013

Kassin is an artist as well as an in-demand producer who works out of his own studio in Brazil with people like Marisa Monte and Arto Lindsay.

Bebel Gilberto may be the daughter of Joao Gilberto, one of the first bossa nova composers, but that's hardly her only claim to fame. Her album Tanto Tempo, produced by the electronic artist Suba, was a best-seller in Brazil throughout the 2000s.

As part of this week's Sense of Place: Rio series, World Cafe revisits a 2004 session with Brazilian singer Vinicius Cantuária. At the time, he was in the midst of a string of highly praised albums, beginning with 1996's Sol Na Cara.

In this interview, Cantuária discusses his love of Tom Jobim, moving to New York City in 1994 and how he feels somehow "more Brazilian" here in the U.S.

The four members of Do Amor have been playing together since they were 15, when they first bonded over their love of cheap vinyl records. They recently released their second album, Piracema, even though they haven't had much time to play together; the band shares a rhythm section with Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso.

Listen to Do Amor's special performance for World Cafe, recorded live in Rio de Janeiro.

Os Mutantes On World Cafe

Jul 18, 2013

One of the most influential Brazilian psychedelic rock bands of the Tropicália movement, Os Mutantes released its first album in 35 years, Haih or Amortecedor, in 2009. Formed by brothers Sergio and Arnaldo Dias, the group initially drew inspiration from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, English rock and traditional Brazilian music.

In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, songwriter Sylvio Fraga performs two songs with his trio. There are underlying hints of samba in his performance, as well as a hefty dose of American songwriting. It makes sense that he would combine the two styles, given that he grew up in both Rio de Janeiro and New York City.

Fraga recently released his debut album Rosto, which he's made available for free download on his website.

The music of Seu Jorge occupies a singular place in today's Brazil. His songs are widely hailed as a return to the traditional songwriting of Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso. But his style, and his background, lead many to call Jorge a hero of life on Rio's streets. It was his history in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that led to bigger things for Jorge, including a high-profile appearance in the 2002 film City of God.

The first stop on World Cafe's trip to Brazil was in Pelourinho, the old part of the city of Salvador on the country's northeast coast. In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, World Cafe captures a performance from the brother-duo Samba Chula de São Braz, in an effort to learn more about the samba style.

Based in Philadelphia, Alo Brasil synthesizes various types of samba, with the hopes of making it a style accessible to American audiences. Alex Shaw, director of Alo Brasil, recently appeared on World Cafe to discuss the exploration of samba as it became an urbanized form.

Here, Shaw takes us through the evolution of samba since the earliest version represented by Samba Chula de Sao Braz. Hear a few of Shaw's picks, including a carnival performance in Rio from 2011.

Canadian Danny Michel is a veteran songwriter with a lengthy career: The folk-rock musician, whose voice recalls that of Paul Simon, already has nine albums to his name. But his latest record, Blackbirds Are Dancing Over Me, is a little bit different. In 2012, Michel relocated to Belize in order to work with The Garifuna Collective, a group of musicians who carry on soulful traditions surrounding the history of their West African ancestors.

Phoenix On World Cafe

Jul 12, 2013

The French band Phoenix seems to be appearing at the top of music charts all over the world. In 2009, Phoenix's album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix guided them to fame with popular tracks like "1901" and "Lisztomania."

Though Argentina may be known for tango music, there is a strong and thriving rock scene that seems to be taking over. World Cafe recently traveled to Buenos Aires to visit the home-studio of Catupecu Machu, one of Argentina's most popular rock bands.

Singer-songwriter Frank Turner has a fanatically large following in the U.K. Though he might not be filling large halls in the States quite yet, his American fans are just as dedicated and engaged.

Soul man Charles Bradley knew he could sing — former band members and friends always told him that. But he just never got the shot, shuttling from one odd job to another. Into his 50s, Bradley was living with his mother in New York and performing as a James Brown interpreter under the name "Black Velvet." When Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth saw him perform, this soul man finally got his shot at fame.

BRONCHO On World Cafe

Jul 9, 2013

The fun, aggressive pop band BRONCHO is reminiscent of both The Ramones and Weezer. Straddling the line between pop and punk, the band's 2011 debut Can't Get Past The Lips has 10 songs but clocks in at just 20 minutes.

Pennsylvania singer-songwriter Daughn Gibson has a deep baritone voice like Johnny Cash and a country style not unlike Lee Hazlewood. Toss in a few electronic loops and bagpipes, and Gibson's second album, Me Moan, is a spooky production.

Portugal. The Man is a shape-shifting indie-rock band originally from Wasilla, Alaska. Led by vocalist John Gourley, the group just released a new album called Evil Friends, which was produced by Brian Burton, a.k.a Danger Mouse. Burton helped the band capture the potential of each track, while lending a rhythmic feel to its psych-rock style.

In 1971, Duane Allman — one of the greatest slide guitarists of all time — died at age 24. His daughter, Galadrielle Allman, was only 2 at the time. Here, she joins World Cafe to present music from the lovingly curated Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.

Recorded live at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recently performed a special stripped-down session for World Cafe. The band appears as a trio, playing songs from its latest album, Specter at the Feast. In 2010, lead singer Robert Been's father Michael died of a heart attack while Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was on tour; this is the group's first release since his death.

Bobby McFerrin has a wide range of musical abilities, from singing multi-octaves to serving as a classical conductor, but he didn't arrive there on his own. Inspired by his father's album Deep River, McFerrin pays tribute to music of the past on his new album, spirityouall.

Formerly of the San Francisco rock band Girls, Christopher Owens now explores music and life on his own. Shortly after the duo released its second album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Owens announced that he was leaving to go solo. Released this past January, Lysandre is his first album recorded under his own name; it's a coming-of-age story for the singer, intertwined with hints of romance.

The Miami-based Latin alternative band Elastic Bond has a varied sound that's hard to pinpoint. Its debut album, Real, contains tropical elements well suited to its home state of Florida, but funky horns and retro-leaning samples help freshen that sound. The combination of genres goes well with the band's name, which references a chemical equation.

At the heart of Iron and Wine is a 38-year-old singer-songwriter from South Carolina named Sam Beam, but Beam's new sixth album, Ghost on Ghost, is his most lavish full-band production yet. Back in 2002, the first Iron and Wine album essentially consisted of stripped-down demos, released as-is. In the spareness of those early recordings, Beam used only what he had available to him: a guitar, a banjo and a 4-track tape recorder.

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