Ned Wharton is a senior producer and music director for Weekend Edition.
At Weekend Edition, Wharton helps to supervise music continuity for the show, keeps tabs on what's new and noteworthy in the music world and produces many of the artist features heard on the program. The highlight of Wharton's role at NPR is the chance to meet—in person or over a satellite link—some of his musical idols, including Brian Eno, Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson, Laurie Anderson, and Peter Gabriel and the opportunity to spark the careers of lesser-known musicians, like surf-noir band Big Lazy or the terrific Maine singer/songwriter Carol Noonan.
Wharton's work for Weekend Edition includes production of sound-rich news features. As a field producer, he traveled with former Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen to Egypt for a series of pieces on climate change. They also reported from Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and covered the economy and culture of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
For Weekend Edition Saturday, Wharton took to the sky with host Scott Simon and combat veterans in vintage jets for a feature on the Wounded Warrior program. Wharton produced several of Simon's signature music chats with Baltimore Symphony Music Director Marin Alsop.
Wharton joined NPR in 1989 to work as an arts editor/producer for the daily classical music program Performance Today.
Before coming to NPR, Wharton worked at NPR Member Station WNYC in New York, where he hosted the music program Mixdown and chamber music concert broadcasts from the Frick Collection, produced music features, and filled in on various and sundry classical shifts. Earlier in his career, Wharton spent a year in Paris hosting and producing "New Directions in Europe," a 13-part series highlighting new music activity in France, Germany, and Italy.
Outside of radio, Wharton has worked as a record producer. His credits include the album gListen by the New York-band Songs from a Random House (Bar/None Records) and I Heard It on NPR: Singers, Songs & Sessions, a collection of live performances recorded in NPR's Studio 4A. He served as a panelist at the South by Southwest music festival and at the NON-COMMvention, a radio and music industry gathering.
Wharton remains loyal to his North Dakota roots, serving on the Board of Trustees at the International Music Camp at the Peace Garden on the Canadian border.
Wharton's radio career began at his college station, KFJM in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He graduated with a degree in speech and an emphasis in radio and minors in music and French.
Judges for the Tiny Desk Contest watched thousands of videos, and Weekend Edition is highlighting some of the standouts — this week: rapper Zhalarina's "Lala."
Each year, the Tiny Desk Contest attracts thousands of impressive unsigned artists from across the country — including Z The Author, who sent in a song inspired by 2020's Black Lives Matter protests.
"When I first came to Chicago, in 1970, a patron at one of the blues clubs said to me, 'You listen to the blues to get rid of the blues.' " Iglauer has been helping folks do just that ever since.
This year's Tiny Desk Contest attracted plenty of talent, including standout entrant Mama Haze, aka California songwriter Meaghan Maples. Her song "On Your Side" was written during a time of healing.
Every year, the Tiny Desk Contest attracts thousands of unsigned musicians. Lauren Eylise impressed the judges with "Peaks and Valleys," her song about toughing it out through hard times.
NPR's Scott Simon talks to Jeremy Earl about his band Woods and its new album, Strange to Explain, which he wrote in the months following the birth of his daughter.
The classical flutist came back from the hospital after receiving an Alzheimer's diagnosis and felt compelled to write. The result is a stunning memoir that mixes poetry and prose.
Amanda Gustafson and Eric Olsen of Swale's song "If You Get Lost" is a standout entry from this year's Tiny Desk Contest.
From the heart of music madness in Austin, Felix Contreras shares the hottest new Alt. Latino sounds from SXSW Festival.
As Mardi Gras approaches, the music of New Orleans is in the air. The band Galactic not only has a new album, Already Ready Already, but the members bought the legendary New Orleans club Tipitina's.