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Lizz Wright On World Cafe

We're lucky to have a lot of remarkably talented artists deliver impressive performances here at World Cafe (ok, humblebrag). But our whole team was pretty floored by Lizz Wright. The combination of Wright and her band (Bobby Ray Sparks on organ, Brannen Temple on drums and Chris McQueen on guitar) was effortless and elevated, in a way that's hard to articulate in words, but you can experience in a session here.

Wright and Co. performed songs from her latest releaseGrace – it's an album of covers that includes gospel standards, and tunes made famous by Nina Simone, Glen Campbell, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bob Dylan and more. The collection was curated by Wright and producer Joe Henry – a World Cafe alum, singer-songwriter and producer extraodinaire.

We chose to air Lizz Wright's session on Martin Luther King Day because of the way she speaks about humanity and the ways she performs feels very much in line with some of the ways we think about Dr. King – grounded in faith, believing in people and in equality, moving towards the greater good without force, and with unwavering grace.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.
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