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.

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World Cafe
2:45 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

ELO's Jeff Lynne Describes His Work In The Studio

Jeff Lynne.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:52 pm

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.

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World Cafe
1:38 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Bombino On World Cafe

Bombino.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:28 pm

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.

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World Cafe
1:49 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Handsome Family On World Cafe

The Handsome Family.
Jason Creps Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:53 pm

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.

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World Cafe
3:30 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

World Cafe Next: Aisha Burns

Aisha Burns.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:53 pm

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.

World Cafe
3:26 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Roots Of Samba: Exploring Historic Pelourinho In Salvador, Brazil

Randy Roberts discusses samba at his record store in Pelourinho, the historic center of Salvador, Brazil.
Bob Giardini Productions and WXPN's Kim Junod

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:42 am

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.

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World Cafe
2:36 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Alo Brasil's Alex Shaw On The Urbanization Of Samba

Alo Brasil.
Abi Reimold WXPN

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:42 am

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.

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World Cafe
1:38 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Phoenix On World Cafe

French indie-rock band Phoenix performs on stage at the 13th Annual Non-COMMvention in Philadelphia in May.
Joe Del Tufo WXPN

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 1:37 pm

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."

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World Cafe
3:50 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Latin Roots: Catupecu Machu

Argentine-rock band Catupecu Machu.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:02 am

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.

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World Cafe
2:52 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Frank Turner On World Cafe

Frank Turner.
Tara Novak Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:12 pm

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.

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World Cafe
2:33 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Charles Bradley On World Cafe

Charles Bradley.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:02 am

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.

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World Cafe
3:14 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

BRONCHO On World Cafe

BRONCHO.
Jaret Ferratusco Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:03 am

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.

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World Cafe
11:32 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Patty Griffin On World Cafe

Patty Griffin.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:03 am

It's a middle-age milestone, dealing with a parent's death. Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin turns the experience into powerful moments on her latest album, American Kid. The album features songs inspired by everything from her dad exclaiming "Don't let me die in Florida!" to the gleam in her grandfather's eye on his own wedding day.

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World Cafe
11:05 am
Mon July 8, 2013

World Cafe Next: Daughn Gibson

Daughn Gibson.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 3:08 pm

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.

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World Cafe
12:50 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Portugal. The Man On World Cafe

Portugal. The Man.
Hayley Young Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:05 am

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.

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Galadrielle Allman On Her Father's Work In 'Skydog'

Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band lived to play music. A new box set, Skydog, collects the work he produced before his death in 1971.
John Gellman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:06 am

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.

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club On World Cafe

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Courtesy of Stephen Kallao

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:07 am

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.

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World Cafe
3:34 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Christopher Owens On World Cafe

Christopher Owens.
Ryan McGinley Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:12 am

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.

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World Cafe
12:24 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Iron And Wine On World Cafe

Iron And Wine.
Craig Kief Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:39 pm

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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World Cafe
1:45 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Laura Mvula On World Cafe

Laura Mvula.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:15 pm

U.K. singer Laura Mvula has been well-served by her conservatory training, which helped her uncover her own unique sound: Mvula's first full-length album, Sing to the Moon, blends classic pop, jazz and soul.

With help from producer Steve Brown, Mvula's choral-like arrangements are wonderfully layered and complex. In this installment of World Cafe, the singer performs live with her band and talks to host David Dye about how she separates her roles as a songwriter and a performer.

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World Cafe
2:58 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

World Cafe Next: Houndstooth

Houndstooth.
Jaclyn Campanaro Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 3:14 pm

An indie-rock quintet based in Portland, Ore., Houndstooth features singer Katie Bernstein and guitarist John Gnorski — both of whom are originally from Austin, Texas. The band's sound reflects both hometowns, with Gnorski's loping guitar riffs hinting at bluesy Southern influences.

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