Spotlight On

Spotlight On

Creative people drive our culture. Host Lawrence Peryer has revealing talks with the people shaping the past, present, and future of culture, media, and entertainment. Hear discussions with musicians, writers, thinkers, pioneers, innovators and more. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


February 15, 2024 35 mins

Today, the Spotlight shines On Mareike Wiening.

Mareike is a drummer and composer who joined us on the occasion of the release of her third record as bandleader, Reveal, out on Greenleaf Music. Featuring her long-time group: tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, pianist Glenn Zaleski, guitarist Alex Goodman, and bassist Johannes Felscher, the band is joined on three tracks by trumpeter and Greenleaf founder Dave Douglas.

After several years ...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On music impresario Jonathan Shank, the CEO and Founder of Terrapin Station Entertainment.

Jonathan is known for his instincts and successes in sniffing out unique opportunities in under-served spaces in the live entertainment industry, creating business successes in categories and markets often overlooked by the large corporations that dominate so much of the entertainment sector today.

Jonathan has devel...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator, and performer Brendan Grey of the Canadian hip-hop group Super Duty Tough Work.

In addition to his duties as MC, drummer, and band leader, Brendan has become a sought-after performance, session, and touring drummer.

We spoke back in the autumn of 2023 for a conversation that still sticks with me. I look forward to hearing what you think.

(all musical excerpts he...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On the innovative pedal steel guitar player Susan Alcorn.

While Susan got her start playing in country & western bands in Texas, she has taken the pedal steel into new and uncharted territories, exploring 20th-century classical music, improvisational jazz, and various world musics.

On her latest project, CANTO, Susan explored Chilean folk music and nueva canción, which translates as “new song” and ref...

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January 18, 2024 48 mins

Today, the Spotlight shines On Grammy-winning pianist and composer Kris Davis.

Kris joined us in the wake of the September 2023 release of her album Live at the Village Vanguard, out on her own Pyroclastic Records label.

Live at the Village Vanguard is the second release from her band Diatom Ribbons, an adventurous quintet featuring drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, turntablist and electronic musician Val Jeanty, bassist Trevor Dunn – a...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On pianist and composer Angelica Sanchez, who joined us late last year to discuss her latest record, Nighttime Creatures, out on Pyroclastic Records.

Since moving to New York from Arizona in 1994, Angelica has collaborated with artists including Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Motian, Richard Davis, Tim Berne, Ben Monder, and many others.

On Nighttime Creatures, Angelica leads a nonet through material she composed ...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On composer, improviser, and master percussionist Adam Rudolph.

A global performer - and global citizen - Adam has been called "a pioneer in world music" by the New York Times. With dozens of recordings to his credit, he joined us upon the release of Timeless from his percussion group, Hu: Vibrational, on his own Meta Records.

Adam has worked with artists including Don Cherry, Jon Hassell, Sam Rivers, Phar...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On trumpet virtuoso and international superstar Ibrahim Maalouf.

Ibrahim is exactly the type of artist we love hosting - sensitive, open and unwilling to be limited by genre or expectations. His work mixes jazz, pop, classical, electronic, Middle Eastern, and African influences into a cosmopolitan sound all his own.

Ibrahim and his family fled the civil war in Beirut when he was still a child, settling in ...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On Roberto Di Gioia of the German Jazz supergroup Web Web and his group’s collaborator, the songwriter and producer Max Herre. WEB WEB’s fifth album is also their second with Max, appropriately titled, WEB MAX II, out now on Compost Records.

This is an exciting, genre-bending album that includes appearances from Los Angeles-born percussionist and producer Carlos Gabriel Niño, hot on the heels of his own ...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On James McKeown, the Bristol, UK-based artist who releases music under the name Hawksmoor

James first created Hawksmoor five years ago, inspired by the six 18th-century churches in London designed by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. Described as ‘English Baroque’ in style, these buildings are large, foreboding, and even Gothic in nature. Imagine the music inspired by such things, and you have Hawksmo...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On Diana Pasulka, religious studies professor and the author of two books I have really enjoyed in the last few years: 2019’s American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology and Encounters: Experiences with Non-Human Intelligences, released in November 2023.

As Diana points out in her work and in our discussion, religious studies is not about the veracity of any particular religion or religious claim, instead...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On downtempo electronic music godfather and Thievery Corporation co-founder Eric Hilton.

Eric joined us a few weeks after the September release of Corazón Kintsugi, his album with longtime Thievery vocal collaborator Natalia Clavier.

Eric produced, arranged, and played the majority of the instruments on the 9-track album, which fuses elements of dub, trip-hop, Bossa nova, vintage film music, and electronic...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On saxophonist and composer Javon Jackson

Javon sat with us in early October to talk about his film score for the art-world documentary With Peter Bradley, music which came out back in June 2023 on the saxophonist's Solid Jackson Records.

Peter Bradley has had a 50-year career as an abstract artist, but one that saw him getting little acclaim until the last few years. In addition to his work as an a...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On freelance journalist and author Tea Krulos.

Tea wrote two books that I enjoyed this year: Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement from 2013 and 2020’s American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness. 

Both of those works take the reader deep into parts of contemporary American society that are not often explored and...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On Danish saxophonist, composer, and best-selling author Benjamin Koppel.

Benjamin joined us to discuss his July 2023 release Perspective, the latest work from KCB Collective, a trio that, in addition to Koppel, includes Scott Colley on bass and Brian Blade on drums. It looks great on paper and sounds even better.

Benjamin is the grandson of Danish classical composer Herman D. Koppel, while his father, And...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On Kerry O’Brien and William Robin, co-authors of the book On Minimalism: Documenting a Musical Movement from University of California Press.

Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and LaMonte Young are stereotypically described as the “Big Four” of minimalism in music. While On Minimalism does nothing to undermine or belittle their pioneering and important contributions to the form, the authors widen the...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On drummer and sound artist Simon Berz

The impetus for our conversation was the release of Simon’s collaboration with American bassist and sonic wizard Bill Laswell and the Japanese avant garde trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. While Kondo passed away in October of 2020, this work, Breath versus Beats, was not released until August 2023.

Simon is a prolific artist across multiple forms and media. His persp...

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October 19, 2023 39 mins

Today, the Spotlight shines On author, entrepreneur, and teacher Seth Godin

I recently watched an interview with Seth wherein he was describing a discussion he had with someone asking him for career advice and he remarked, “I was not always Seth Godin”. For some of us, that is hard to believe. While his thinking and teachings have, of course, grown and expanded over the years, it seems like there has always been a Seth Godin ...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On Chhom Nimol and Ethan Holtzman, vocalist and keyboardist, respectively, of the band Dengue Fever

This episode is a little bit different. Dengue Fever was in the midst of a run of shows up the West Coast of the US in support of their new record Ting Mong, which is on my shortlist for Album of the Year. Their team suggested I meet the band in person instead of recording over Zoom, the way most of ...

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Today, the Spotlight shines On Gabriel Kennedy, the author of the forthcoming biography Chapel Perilous: The Life and Thought Crimes of Robert Anton Wilson, which hits shelves in February 2024 from Strange Attractor/ MIT Press. 

The subject of that book, Robert Anton Wilson, wrote 35 books and over 1,500 published articles. His more well-known works include The Illuminatus! Trilogy, co-authored with Robert Shea, The Schrödinger...

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