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.


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

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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World Cafe
3:07 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

KT Tunstall On World Cafe

KT Tunstall.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:45 pm

In the spring of 2012, Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall traveled to Tucson, Ariz., to work on her sixth album, Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon. But before she could return to finish the record, a lot happened in her personal life: The death of her father, as well as the dissolution of her marriage to drummer Luke Bullen, left Tunstall in a standstill.

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World Cafe
12:15 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

José James On World Cafe

José James.
Janette Beckman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 9:31 am

Originally from Minneapolis, José James began chasing his dreams of jazz singing at 17. He found his way to London and New York, and eventually ended up at The New School to study jazz vocals. James was always interested in a musical place where jazz, R&B, hip-hop and more can all come together.

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World Cafe
3:36 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Low Cut Connie On World Cafe

Low Cut Connie.
Emad Hasan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:53 pm

Low Cut Connie is a Philadelphia band led by piano player Adam Weiner, who's a born ham: an entertainer who will pound his piano (and his listeners) into submission. Low Cut Connie began when Weiner and his partner, Englishman Dan Finnemore, decided to team up.

In this installment of World Cafe, the band plays music from last year's Call Me Sylvia and tells the tale of bonding in a stuck freight elevator.

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World Cafe
3:34 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Next: The Oh Hellos

Tyler and Maggie Heath of the Texas band The Oh Hellos.
Wonderfully Made Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:59 pm

Tyler and Maggie Heath, siblings from San Marcos, Texas, self-released their independent album, Through the Deep, Dark Valley, in October of last year. It was the culmination of a collaboration that began a couple years ago, when they wrote their first song together — for their mom. She liked it, but more importantly, they liked the process.

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World Cafe
12:12 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Jamie Lidell On World Cafe

Jamie Lidell.
Lindsey Rome Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:17 am

British producer and singer Jamie Lidell is one of electronic music's funkiest solo practitioners. When Lidell visited World Cafe in 2006 to support his successful album Multiply, he told host David Dye that he had been called the "one-man human funk tornado" — a moniker he earns yet again in this session.

In this installment of World Cafe, Lidell plays songs from his latest self-titled album and discusses the process of making the record at his new home studio in Nashville.

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World Cafe
11:24 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Petula Clark On World Cafe

Petula Clark.
Clement Schneider Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 8:53 pm

Petula Clark's new album, Lost In You, is her first since 2004. The 80-year-old actress, singer and entertainer launched her career in film and on the radio; she even entertained the troops in WWII, and was later known for her worldwide hit "Downtown."

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World Cafe
11:31 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Red Baraat On World Cafe

Red Baraat.
Erin Patrice O'Brien Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:45 am

At a Red Baraat show, the combination of Punjabi Bhangra music, New Orleans-style jazz, go-go and even hip-hop is so seamless — and the vibe of the party is so exuberant — that barriers fall down. That unique sound is what Red Baraat's leader, Sunny Jain, had in mind when he formed the band in Brooklyn in 2008.

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World Cafe
12:11 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Ivan And Alyosha On World Cafe

Ivan and Alyosha.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 11:23 am

Ivan and Alyosha started out as the duo of Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary, with the band's name coming from characters in the Russian novel The Brothers Karamazov. The two met in 2007 and immediately attracted strong national praise for their first EP, The Verse, The Chorus.

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World Cafe
2:03 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Next: Ace Reporter

Ace Reporter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:18 pm

After a band breakup, musician Chris Snyder consoled himself with the challenge of what he called "the threesixfive project": a challenge to write a song every day for a year. This one-man band ended up with 10 songs that stuck, and those formed his debut album, Yearling.

The Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist eventually got a chance to revisit the recordings, which initially were little more than sketches, in an upstate New York studio. Listen to two songs from Yearling here.

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World Cafe
2:37 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Fitz & The Tantrums On World Cafe

Fitz & The Tantrums.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:56 pm

The L.A. band Fitz & The Tantrums broke through in 2011 with its debut album, Picking Up the Pieces. Undeniable songs and exciting concerts led the group to festival dates and other high-profile live appearances around the world.

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World Cafe
9:02 am
Tue May 21, 2013

The National On World Cafe

The National.
Diedre O'Callaghan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:50 pm

The National's rise has been slow and steady, to match the growth and evolution of its dour but beautiful rock sound. In this installment of World Cafe, the band tells host David Dye how sleep deprivation led its members to craft more straightforward songs on their new album, Trouble Will Find Me.

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World Cafe
2:12 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Next: Hanni El Khatib

Hanni El Khatib.
Courtesy of the artist

Hanni El Khatib is a first-generation American who grew up with a Palestinian father and a Filipino mother in San Francisco. His music has origins in '50s and '60s soul, blues, R&B and garage rock, with all those influences filtered through an intense love of punk music.

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World Cafe
3:08 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Frightened Rabbit On World Cafe

Frightened Rabbit.
Tim Richmond Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 8:57 am

Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchinson has been creating compelling, sometimes even uplifting, songs about abject failure since the Scottish band's first album, Sing the Greys, came out in 2006.

On this installment of World Cafe, Hutchinson tells host David Dye how the entire band was involved in writing lyrics for its new album, Pedestrian Verse. The singer also discusses Frightened Rabbit's unique experience during a recent tour of northern Scotland.

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World Cafe
1:48 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Dawn McCarthy On World Cafe

Bonnie Prince Billy and Dawn McCarthy.
Lindsey Rome Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:49 am

In this installment of World Cafe, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (the stage name of Will Oldham) and Dawn McCarthy perform their own versions of classic Everly Brothers songs — as heard on their latest album together, What the Brothers Sang.

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World Cafe
3:30 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Clive Davis On World Cafe

Clive Davis.
Dan Hallman AP

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 3:40 pm

At 81, music mogul and Columbia Records president Clive Davis has slowed down just enough to write his autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life. The book, which describes how he's consistently made hit records, has itself become a bestseller.

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World Cafe
2:44 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Rod Stewart On World Cafe

Penny Lancaster Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:46 pm

Rod Stewart has little to prove as a rock star. He's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame twice, once solo and once with The Faces. More recently, he's had enormous success with a series of standards titled The Great American Songbook, and published an autobiography that inspired him to return to songwriting.

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World Cafe
3:30 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

The Slide Brothers On World Cafe

The Slide Brothers.
Brad Gregory Courtesy of the artist

Calvin Cooke, Aubrey Ghent and brothers Darrick and Chuck Campbell are The Slide Brothers. The band's self-titled album debut album was produced by Robert Randolph, the spectacular young pedal-steel guitarist who became the first player from the Sacred Steel tradition to break out to a wider audience.

On this installment of World Café, the band plays three songs from its album and tells host David Dye about the difference between performing for the congregation at Church of the Living God and playing on club and concert stages.

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World Cafe
3:05 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Phosphorescent On World Cafe

Steve Gullick Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:17 pm

It's easy to hear the steady growth in the music of Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck since the release of his band's 2009 Willie Nelson tribute album, To Willie. In 2011, Here's to Taking It Easy was a sprawling, languid epic written with his road band's performances in mind.

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