For immediate release
April 20, 2006
Contact:
Chad Campbell, NPR:
ccampbell@npr.org | 202-513-2304

NPR Music and WXPN Philadelphia Live Online Concerts Resume with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones April 21

Washington, D.C. -– NPR Music and WXPN Philadelphia will expand their free, online concert series with a new series of live performances on Fridays at Noon (ET).

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones launch the live series' return on Friday, April 21. The concert's audio will be available for live online streaming at 12Noon (ET), then will be archived permanently for on-demand listening as streaming audio on www.NPR.org/music. Additional concerts will air in the same period on consecutive Fridays, with artists to be announced.

The partnership with NPR expands the reach of WXPN's weekly "Free At Noon" shows hosted by Helen Leicht. The 45-minute performances are primarily held at World Cafe Live, the contemporary music venue located in the same building as the WXPN studio facility in Philadelphia. Past concerts in partnership with NPR Music included Shawn Mullins, Rosanne Cash, The Wood Brothers and Steve Wynn; all are available for online streaming at npr.org.

WXPN's "Free At Noon" series was launched February 11, 2005 and has featured David Gray, Citizen Cope, Hall and Oates, Shemekia Copeland, Mary Gauthier, O.A.R., Ben Folds, Buddy Guy, Charlotte Martin and Laura Cantrell, among others. The concert series has drawn more than 15,000 attendees; more information on the series can be found at www.xpn.org.

This concert series with WXPN will also add to NPR.org's successful slate of online concerts. NPR.org has featured 23 live concerts produced under the All Songs Considered (www.npr.org/allsongs) banner, starting in January 2005. The concerts have showcased an eclectic group of past performers, including Arctic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Brown, the White Stripes, Sigur Ros, Sinead O'Connor, Death Cab for Cutie and David Gray. The previous All Songs Considered concerts on NPR.org have been listened to more than 1 million times, and concert-related NPR.org web pages have been viewed more than 2 million times, with listener response coming from around the world. These past concerts can be heard anytime at www.NPR.org/music

Bela Fleck, leader of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, is one of the world's most innovative banjo players. A seven-time Grammy Award winner, Fleck's work spans diverse musical genres including country, bluegrass, and jazz. Fleck and his band are touring in support of his latest album, The Hidden Land.

For information on the upcoming concerts and to hear the archived concerts please visit www.NPR.org/music

Press contacts:
NPR, Chad Campbell, 202.513.2304, ccampbell@npr.org
WXPN, Kim Winnick, 215.573.3339, kwinnick@xpn.org

About WXPN

WXPN 88.5 FM, 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 radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio's most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O'Connell. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Harrisburg at 88.1 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.xpn.org.

About NPR

The NPR Music brand extends through broadcast, satellite radio, original online content, merchandise and, most recently, the successful NPR Podcasts. A podcast version of All Songs Considered has consistently ranked as one of the most-downloaded offerings on such directories as iTunes and Yahoo. NPR's broadcast programming slate has the trend-setting contemporary music series World Café as well as performance series showcasing jazz, classical, opera, symphony and Celtic. The NPR Shop (www.shop.NPR.org) offers a wide variety of compilation, themed and holiday CDs.