NPR Music and WXPN in Philadelphia are starting an initiative to broaden music coverage in Nashville and the South, the organizations announced Tuesday.
The partnership, World Cafe Nashville, takes its name from the WXPN music program. It will look to explore the “depth and diversity” of music in Nashville and the southern United States with event coverage and artist interviews and recording sessions.
NPR Music critic and correspondent Ann Powers and Bruce Warren, e.p. of World Cafe, will host and curate sessions along with other World Cafe staffers.
NPR and WXPN are not using a physical space for the partnership but are “leaving that option open for the future,” according to WXPN spokesperson Elise Brown. The content produced will appear on NPR Music and World Cafe’s own site.
“The goal is for World Cafe to reflect more of what’s happening musically in Nashville and throughout the South (not just country music), and to do that, we must establish more of a presence and conduct more activity in Nashville and the South,” Brown said in an email.
“This commitment to a deeper dive on World Cafe into the music of Nashville and places like Muscle Shoals, Memphis, Atlanta and New Orleans is central to our exploration of regional roots music, whether it be Americana, R&B, gospel, blues or rock,” said David Dye, host of World Cafe, in a press release. “This will be musical discovery with a southern accent.”
The bureau will open with two live events Oct. 27 and 28 at City Winery in Nashville, featuring singer-songwriter Eric Church and the band Steelism.