As director/executive producer of NPR Music, Anya Grundmann oversees a diverse array of public radio platforms. They include “First Listen”; the “Tiny Desk” concert series; live event partnerships with New York venues like Le Poisson Rouge, the Village Vanguard and the Prospect Park Bandshell’s Celebrate Brooklyn series; and music content from such member stations as KCRW Los Angeles. Based at NPR’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, Grundmann recently traveled to New York to visit NPR Music’s CMJ Music Marathon showcase and the Brooklyn set of a taping for on-air series “Field Recordings,” featuring Yo-Yo Ma.
6:45 AM Wake up and go for a short run. I listen to music that’s a mix of something we’ve got on our site and what some friends have recommended.
8:00 AM I drive, then take the subway to get in to NPR.
10:00 AM I had a conversation with our partner station WBGO in New Jersey about a major new jazz initiative that we’re working on — between NPR Music, WBGO and WXPN in Philly — that will air audio from jazz clubs across America.
10:45 AM I spoke at a goodbye party for NPR’s first online photo editor. She’s leaving for Nat Geo, and I gave a talk about what it means to be a pioneer.
1:00 PM Attend a session on Public Music Month, which is a program NPR has done for the last few years. There are so many outlets who are doing a lot of work around discovery and putting artists on the map that we want to talk about how we can work even more effectively with the artist community and talk about the impact of public radio.
3:00 PM Took the train from Union Station to New York to attend our CMJ showcase that night.
6:00 PM Have a conversation about our new hip-hop show “Microphone Check” with our hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammed and Frannie Kelly about growing that initiative. It features long-form interviews with major hip-hop artists, and they’ve been getting a lot of great folks to be a part of it. That’s how we got Pusha T to participate in our CMJ showcase. NPR wants to tell the stories of our culture and of the hip-hop world, and the artists’ stories who haven’t been told.
6:30 PM We have a Latin project called Alt Latino, so we talked about piloting a video concept with a third-party video outlet around Latin music discovery.
8:30 PM Arrive at our Le Poisson Rouge showcase. We really try to create forums for folks to explore and create music and also have their eyes opened about music from other genres. We try to pair musicians who we think might be able to be bridges to each other, so that’s why we have indie rock group Cults with Omar Souleyman, who’s a Syrian musician, and then Pusha T. It was a really cool mix, and I think the people in the room really appreciated it.