WXPN, University of Pennsylvania

Updated
1 Dec 2016

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Big George Brock lying down on the stage playing harmonica at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Photo courtesy of WXPN.

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WXPN’s Zydeco Crossroads. Photo by Hope Helmuth, courtesy of WXPN.

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WXPN’s Zydeco Crossroads. Photo by Matthew Shaver, courtesy of WXPN.

WXPN (88.5 FM) is a nationally recognized public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on rock, blues, roots, and folk music. The station is known for its World Cafe music program, which is distributed by National Public Radio to many non-commercial stations across the US. Center-supported projects include Mississippi Blues Project (2012), which showcased the Mississippi blues as a vibrant folk art form; NeXtPN (2013), a research initiative to better understand the music-listening preferences of the Millennial generation; and Zydeco Crossroads (2014), a yearlong exploration of the origins and evolution of zydeco, a form of African American roots music that blends Creole traditions, blues, and R&B. In 2017, WXPN received a Center Project grant to produce Saturday Night & Sunday Morning: The Gospel Roots of Rock & Soul, exploring the roots of gospel and its influence on secular popular music through live performances, a radio documentary series, and a media-rich website.