Northeast Times

One big anniversary, two big nights

For two dec­ades, the ra­dio show ‘World Cafe’ has main­tained the beat for mu­sic lov­ers. Later this month, an im­press­ive lineup of artists will per­form dur­ing a big an­niversary bash.

Long­time World Caf&ea­cute; ra­dio show host Dav­id Dye and WX­PN figured it might be dif­fi­cult to sched­ule ma­jor acts for the pro­gram’s 20th an­niversary con­cert due to schedul­ing con­flicts.

Still, they went after top tal­ent.

“We really wanted to do something spe­cial, to make the show big­ger than the space,” Dye said.

The host and his sta­tion be­lieve they suc­ceeded.

Sched­uled to per­form on Oct. 28-29 at World Caf&ea­cute; Live are John Hi­att, the In­digo Girls, Feist, Dawes (with a spe­cial ap­pear­ance by Rob­bie Robertson) and The Little Wil­lies, fea­tur­ing Norah Jones, Richard Ju­li­an, Jim Cam­pi­longo, Lee Al­ex­an­der and Dan Rieser.

In ad­di­tion, Amos Lee will per­form on Oct. 30 dur­ing a private, in­vit­a­tion-only event for donors to Cam­paign for the Mu­sic, WX­PN’s $6.5 mil­lion cap­it­al cam­paign. Oth­ers will likely join Lee on stage.

“It’s pretty amaz­ing. I can’t be­lieve we got this all to­geth­er,” Dye said.

WX­PN (88.5 FM) is the non-com­mer­cial, mem­ber-sup­por­ted ra­dio ser­vice of the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania. It of­fers adult al­bum al­tern­at­ive mu­sic and seeks to dis­cov­er new artists in rock, blues, roots and folk.

The sta­tion also pro­duces World Caf&ea­cute;, which is syn­dic­ated by NPR and is con­sidered pub­lic ra­dio’s most pop­u­lar mu­sic pro­gram.

The pro­gram de­b­uted on Oct. 15, 1991, with Bruce Cock­burn the first artist to ap­pear on air. Cock­burn leads the way with 12 all-time ap­pear­ances, fol­lowed by the In­digo Girls with 11.

Each week­day from 2 to 4 p.m., it of­fers an ec­lect­ic blend of blues, rock, world, folk and al­tern­at­ive coun­try mu­sic.

The show is syn­dic­ated to more than 200 mar­kets, in­clud­ing New York, Chica­go, Hou­s­ton, Dal­las, Bo­ston and As­pen, Col. The weekly listen­er­ship is about 539,000.

Dye mixes the mu­sic with artist in­ter­views. Over the years, he has spoken to le­gends such as Dav­id Bowie, Dolly Par­ton, Paul Mc­Cart­ney, Elton John, Neil Young, Paul Si­mon, Billy Joel, Dav­id Crosby and many more.

“I still want to talk to Bruce Spring­steen and Stevie Won­der,” he said.

The show’s pop­ular­ity in­spired a 32-al­bum CD series, a book and in­de­pend­ently owned and op­er­ated World Caf&ea­cute; Live per­form­ance ven­ues/res­taur­ants at 31st and Chest­nut streets and in Wilm­ing­ton, Del.

Dye worked loc­ally at WM­MR, WIOQ and WHYY be­fore ar­riv­ing at WX­PN in 1989. Two years later, he found a niche with World Caf&ea­cute;.

“I love do­ing this. To be do­ing the same thing at the same place feels great,” he said. “We’re on more sta­tions with more listen­ers and have more ac­cess to guests than ever be­fore. Listen­ers really seem to love the show.”

The an­niversary con­certs are the first ones since Ros­anne Cash head­lined the 10th an­niversary cel­eb­ra­tion at Ve­r­i­zon Hall, in the Kim­mel Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts.

Dye be­lieves his show serves as an “am­bas­sad­or” for the sta­tion.

At the same time, he cred­its listen­er re­spect for the sta­tion with play­ing a big role in the pop­ular­ity of his show. He also likes be­ing on in the heart of the day.

“We’re part of XPN, and XPN’s suc­cess has a lot to do with this,” he said.

Dye be­lieves fans of the show will love the con­certs later this month.

“It plays right to the heart of what we’ve been do­ing on the Caf&ea­cute;,” he said. “I’m hop­ing we get packed houses.”

Ap­pear­ing on the first night will be Hi­att, the In­digo Girls and The Little Wil­lies.

“The Fri­day show is strong. The In­digo Girls could be head­liners on their own,” he said.

Feist and Dawes will per­form on the second night.

“As soon as tick­ets went on sale, Feist fans picked up the first tick­ets right away,” he said of the pop­ular­ity of Ca­na­dian sing­er-song­writer Leslie Feist.

Dye is look­ing for­ward to the con­certs be­cause he doesn’t have to se­lect the mu­sic or con­duct any in­ter­views.

“I get to kick back and en­joy the shows,” he said. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

A World of fun …

WX­PN will cel­eb­rate the 20th an­niversary of World Caf&ea­cute; on Oct. 28-29 at World Caf&ea­cute; Live, at 3100 Chest­nut St.

The Oct. 28 con­cert lineup is John Hi­att, the In­digo Girls and The Little Wil­lies, fea­tur­ing Norah Jones, Richard Ju­li­an, Jim Cam­pi­longo, Lee Al­ex­an­der and Dan Rieser.

The Oct. 29 con­cert fea­tures Feist and Dawes, with a spe­cial ap­pear­ance by Rob­bie Robertson.

Tick­ets for each night cost $190 for re­served seat­ing and $95 for gen­er­al ad­mis­sion. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Call 215-222-1400 or vis­it World Caf&ea­cute; Live.

For more in­form­a­tion, go to the WX­PN Web site at www.xpn.org

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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