The holidays at Philadelphia public music radio station WXPN are jam-packed with special programming and events for maximum end-of-year musical enjoyment - including some new ones you won't want to miss.
On-air and online
Thursday, Nov. 26: XPN CLASSICS THANKSGIVING
Hosts Mike Vasilikos and Bruce Warren serve up a mix of XPN classic artists, from The Boss and Lucinda Williams to Aretha Franklin, Wilco, Brandi Carlile and more, providing a tasty accompaniment to your feast from 6 am to 12 noon, followed by host Helen Leicht presenting WXPN’s annual broadcast of the classic Thanksgiving song “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie. Dan Reed presents The Band’s The Last Waltz in its entirety at 4pm followed by a Thanksgiving “Highs in the 70s” until 7pm.
Thursday, Dec. 10: WXPN 2020 COUNTDOWN - THE 2,020 ALL TIME GREATEST SONGS
Don’t miss XPN’s most massive undertaking to date: The highly-anticipated, days-long broadcast of the top 2,020 all-time greatest songs, as contributed by XPN members, listeners, XPN artists and local celebrities. Listen to learn how many of your picks or favorite songs made the final list!
Tuesday, Dec. 22: XPN LOCAL “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” CONCERT
XPN Local Host Helen Leicht presents the 12th annual XPN Local Home for the Holidays celebration, in a showcase that will highlight some of our area’s finest musical talent performing the sounds of the season - some original, and some familiar. Featured artists include Eric Bazilian, Zeek Burse, Devon Gilfillian, Great Time, Kississippi, Sharon Little/Tim Sonnefeld, and Stereo League.
Thursday, Dec. 24: “THE NIGHT BEFORE ON XPN” - 28TH ANNIVERSARY
Host Robert Drake performs his annual Christmas miracle by taking over the station with an eclectic mix of holiday songs non-stop for the 24 hours leading up to Christmas Day. Follow along on Facebook, peek into the festively-festooned studio with the Jingle Cam, and join the many others who can’t make it to Christmas without Robert and The Night Before on XPN.
Thursday, Dec. 31: TOP 100 SONGS OF THE YEAR & ROCKIN’ NEW YEARS EVE
XPN hosts will select the top 100 songs of the year, and starting at 7pm, host Dan Reed will welcome the musical spirit of the new year in rockin’ XPN style.
Special XPN online offerings and events
Monday, Nov 16: JINGLE JAMS
Let the holiday jams roll! “Jingle Jams” is now streaming 24/7 on XPN 2. It’s WXPN’s hand-picked, decade-spanning, multigenre and always-appropriate holiday music mix.
Tuesday, Dec. 2: THE KEY - BEST OF 2020
WXPN’s music blog The Key will begin its Best of 2020 coverage by recapping the best albums and songs of the past year on The Key, followed by articles and lists throughout December that take a deeper dive into the music and memories of a year unlike any other.
Wednesday, Dec. 9: 2020 COUNTDOWN TAILGATE PARTY
Join WXPN’s virtual party to prep appropriately for the following day’s launch of the must-hear 2020 COUNTDOWN, featuring insights and commentary from WXPN on-air hosts.
Sat., Dec. 26 through Weds., Dec. 30: WXPN WINTER BREAK SESSIONS
Be among the first to get to know the most up-and-coming new artists recommended by WXPN, as one will be introduced each day during our first “Winter Break” via Facebook Live.
Douris will succeed Talia Schlanger as host starting in October
PHILADELPHIA (SEPTEMBER 18, 2019): WXPN, the member-supported public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania and producer of the NPR-distributed daily music program World Cafe, today announced that Raina Douris will become the new host of World Cafe starting on October 7.
Douris, an award-winning radio personality from Toronto, Ontario, comes to World Cafe from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), where she was host and writer for the daily live, national morning program Mornings on CBC Music. She is also involved with Canada’s highest music honors: since 2017 she has hosted the Polaris Music Prize Gala, for which she is also a jury member, and she has also been a jury member for the Juno Awards. Douris has also served as guest host and interviewer for various CBC Music and CBC Radio programs, and red carpet host and interviewer for the Juno Awards and Canadian Country Music Association Awards, as well as a panelist for such renowned CBC programs as Metro Morning, q and CBC News. She succeeds Talia Schlanger as World Cafe host, who was also a CBC broadcaster before joining World Cafe in 2016. Schlanger announced earlier this year that she is leaving World Cafe in order to pursue new creative endeavors.
Douris began her career at Toronto rock station 102.1 the Edge, and then continued on to CBC Radio 3, where she hosted daily music-focused shows. In 2013, she was part of the team that launched Central Ontario Broadcasting’s Indie88 radio station, and served as its music director and afternoon host before moving to the morning show. In both 2014 and 2015 she was chosen as the “Best Radio Personality in Toronto” by Now Magazine readers for her work. She is a 2009 graduate of Ryerson University's Radio & Television Arts program.
“Raina brings a lot to World Cafe, including a deep love and knowledge of music and a refreshing way of communicating that on the radio and social platforms to a national audience,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay.
“Music is one of the deepest, most meaningful ways human beings can connect to each other,” said Douris. “It's a connection that can seem transcendent; almost magical. I've spent my life chasing that magic and I'm thrilled that the chase has led me to World Cafe. I can't wait to discover and share music with World Cafe's passionate, curious audience - and I look forward to approaching conversations with the artists who create that music with that same passion and curiosity -- to bring you real, genuine, thoughtful conversations you can't hear anywhere else.”
A unique daily program of musical discovery, World Cafe is where more than half a million listeners each week are introduced to an eclectic blend of contemporary sounds from both legendary and up-and-coming artists, through exclusive interviews, performances and special features. It is recorded and produced at WXPN in Philadelphia, with additional exclusive content from its Nashville contributors and gathered from locations across the globe. World Cafe is distributed to more than 200 U.S. radio stations by NPR, and can be heard on WXPN from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported, public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio’s most popular program of popular music that is distributed by NPR to more than 200 U.S. radio stations, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, North Jersey/Poconos at 91.9 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.XPN.org. The WXPN app brings all of WXPN to any mobile device. WXPN produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD, also available online. www.xpn.org.