April 1, 2013
Emerson Brown, NPR




More than 7,500 in-studio performances, 4,000 in-community performances and 5.2 million hours of on-air music. That's what public radio stations deliver in just one year.

Public Radio Music Month, a tribute to the impact of public radio in music, kicks off today with local stations, NPR Music and their partners featuring community events, live performances, exclusive interviews, and opportunities for music discovery. Most events are streaming and archived at the stations' websites with highlights from across the country aggregated at publicradiomusicmonth.org, on Facebook and Twitter @pubradiomusic.

For a second year, the national initiative brings together local public radio stations, artists and music to recognize the work and importance of these cultural institutions. Upcoming dates (tentative and subject to change) include:

  • April 1, 3 & 5: VPR, Colchester, VT - Launch of the new Student Composer Showcase highlighting young, aspiring talent from the region.

  • April 2: KUVO. Denver, CO - Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joins music and news show First Take to talk jazz, local music and the music economy.

  • April 3: Classical New England/WGBH, Boston, MA - Live broadcast performance of the Tokyo String Quartet.

  • April 8: Download a supersized "Heavy Rotation" feature - 10 free, downloadable tracks handpicked by public radio - from NPR Music.

  • April 11: Release of the free, Blues & Roots download from Alligator Records (Chicago, IL), available on Facebook.

  • April 12: KING-FM, Seattle, WA - Live performance with classical artist Craig Sheppard.

  • April 18: WVAS, Montgomery, AL - The Art of the DeeJay on-air special premieres.
  • Public Radio Music Month activities in April invite music fans to connect, share and discover music, and show their support for artists and stations. At publicradiomusicmonth.org a "My Music. My Public Radio" postcard is available for download online, allowing everyone from DJs and music fans to artists like folk rocker Erin McKeown to show their public radio pride in social media using the hashtag #thankspublicradio.

    Public Radio Music Month celebrates the essential role hundreds of public radio stations play in championing and preserving a diverse array of musicians and music styles for listeners, and the federal funding that helps make it possible. This inaugural effort culminated last April with more than 130 artists and independent record labels - including Joan Baez, Death Cab for Cutie, Sub Pop Records, and 2013 Grammy-winners The Black Keys - signed a Love Letter to public radio stations.

    These stations and others produce thousands of hours of new content each year, and offer listeners and musicians diversity in sounds - blues, jazz, classical, bluegrass, indie rock and beyond - and opportunities that set them apart from commercial counterparts. Nationally, more than 180 public radio stations are devoted to non-commercial music formats such as classical, jazz, blues and bluegrass, and another 661 more include them in their programming line ups.

    NPR is a content producer, program distributor and membership organization made up of more than 800 locally-owned and independent Member stations located in communities across the country. Among its many roles, NPR represents Member stations on matters of public policy at the federal level and pursues policies designed to ensure the continued growth and vitality of the public radio system.

    Downloadable "My Music. My Public Radio" postcard available here.