Musicians & Moderators

Moderator of The Work to be Done: Poetry and Social Justice

Brian Lehrer is host of "The Brian Lehrer Show," WNYC Radio's daily call-in program, covering politics and life, locally and globally. The show airs weekdays from 10am-noon on WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and

"The Brian Lehrer Show" was recognized with a 2007 George Foster Peabody Award for "Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides."

The New York Times called Lehrer a “master interviewer.” Time has called the program "New York City's most thoughtful and informative talk show." The Daily News calls it "cutting edge" for its extreme interactivity and creative use of the internet. Guests range from politicians such as Barack Obama, Chris Christie, Michael Bloomberg, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Cory Booker, to cultural figures such as Werner Herzog, Penn Jillette, David Lynch, DJ Spooky and Margaret Atwood, to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, to New York City middle school students.

In addition to the Peabody, Lehrer has won numerous awards, including six Associated Press New York Broadcasters "Best Interview" Awards since 2000 and “Best Talk Show” by the Garden State Journalists Association in 2009 and 2011.

Lehrer holds master's degrees in public health from Columbia University and journalism from Ohio State University and a bachelor's in music and mass communications from the State University of New York at Albany.


The Newark Boys Chorus School (NBCS), founded in 1969, provides academic and musical education to young men from the greater Newark area in grades four through eight. The chorus has been heard throughout the world, performing a diversified repertoire that includes traditional classical music, spirituals, folk music and jazz. NBCS has performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The Newark Boys Chorus School is committed to academic excellence, with small class sizes providing students with opportunities for individualized instruction. Its graduates continue their education at prestigious secondary schools and more than 90% enroll in college.

Hailing from Wellfleet, Massachusetts, the Parkington Sisters cut their teeth on music from the very beginning. Daughters of a prog rock musician and a classically trained guitarist and songwriter, they were raised playing music on picturesque Cape Cod. They rebelled against summer jobs cleaning rental houses and performing in high-brow symphonies and instead became a band performing on the streets of Provincetown, on the tip of the Cape. Over the past 5 years, they have shared the stage with artists ranging from Mavis Staples and Bruce Springsteen to Dispatch and the Dropkick Murphys, performing in radio studios and stages across the US, Canada and Europe, including New York’s Radio City Music Hall and in March 2014 NPR's Mountain Stage. The Parkington Sisters also joined the Dropkick Murphys to perform the national anthem before Game 6 of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park, leading to the first World Series home win for the Red Sox since 1918.

NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens (JFT) brings together 7th - 12th grade instrumental and vocal students from diverse communities in the tri-state region (NJ/NY/PA) for multi-faceted, intensive instruction in jazz.  The Music Director and faculty are professional touring musicians and teaching artists who mentor students in the time-honored oral tradition of the genre.  The Saturday program places special importance on small ensembles, developing skills including technical ability, improvisation, leadership, and knowledge of the music industry.  Those students who plan future careers in jazz or music education gain a more competitive edge for college admissions.

With a velvety sound rooted in soul and hip hop, Chicago’s Jamila Woods made her first big impact on the music scene in 2015 with her fan adored vocal features on Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment’s Surf album (Sunday Candy and Questions). With musical influences ranging from Erykah Badu to Imogen Heap, Jamila’s plush sound is distinguished by the art of choral layering in addition to the hip hop tradition of sampling and allusions. In July 2016, Woods released her critically acclaimed album, Heavn, her first full-length solo project, which focuses on black girlhood, Chicago, and the city/world we aspire to live in. The album has received enthusiastic reviews from Pitchfork, MTV, Nylon, and Noisey, among many others.