WXPN, University of Pennsylvania

1 Dec 2016


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


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


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.