Montana Public Radio

John Floridis

Host and Producer

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time from household names like B.B. King, Alison Krauss and Lyle Lovett, to Montana musicians such as Eden Atwood, Darko Butarac and Tom Catmull. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of American Patchwork Quartet

In 2020, singer Falu Shah, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, drummer Clarence Penn and guitarist & vocalist Clay Ross teamed up to form American Patchwork Quartet. They're on a mission to reclaim the immigrant soul of American roots music, interpreting timeless songs through a 21st century lens.

Courtesy of Chad Lawson

You might know pianist, bandleader, composer and podcaster Chad Lawson for his interpretations of Chopin and Bach, or his jazzy reimagining of the Wizard of Oz, or his years leading The Chad Lawson trio. Maybe you've heard his compositions for the podcasts "Lore" and "Unobscured," or his solo piano albums.

Courtesy of Mette Kirkegaard

Is there such a thing as “Nordic Americana?” Host John Floridis has discovered at least one example: the songwriting team of Danish singer, Mette Kirkegaard and legendary Montana songwriter, Kostas Lazarides. Their collaboration forms the backbone of Kirkegaard's most recent recording, “Simple Matters.”

Courtesy of Cyrille Aimée

"Michael Jackson brushes shoulders with Sarah Vaughan in the person of Cyrille Aimée, a saucy, curly-haired jazz singer with one foot in tradition and the other in electronics." - Stephen Holden, New York Times

Courtesy of Ranky Tanky

“A people blessed by God" is how Gullah speakers translate their Afro-English dialect's name. Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA are hotbeds of Gullah language, songs and stories, and the rich repertoire of the Charleston quintet Ranky Tanky doesn't disappoint: "ranky tanky" is Gullah for “get funky.” Singer Quiana Parler shares the band's origin story with John Floridis, and reflects on their 2020 Grammy win for Best Regional Roots Album.

Courtesyof Sharon Isbin

Sharon Isbin, "the Monet of the classical guitar," returns to Musician’s Spotlight to talk technique, collaboration and guitar diplomacy with host John Floridis. Isbin's accomplishments involve big numbers: she has recorded more than 30 albums, premiered 80 new works by composers like John Corigliano, Joseph Schwantner and Lukas Foss, performed as a soloist with over 200 orchestras around the world, appeared on numerous television and radio programs, hit #2 on Billboard, and won dozens of prestigious honors and awards.

Courtesy of Josh Farmer

Missoula's Josh Farmer is a whirlwind of joyous musical creativity whose roles include but are not limited to: pianist, bandleader, performing singer-songwriter, teacher, choir director and community music organizer. With the album Mental Picture, Josh can add "solo recording artist."

Courtesy of Hilary Hahn

Acclaimed classical violinist Hilary Hahn returns to Musician’s Spotlight on the heels of the release of her latest recording, Paris. She's won three Grammy awards, recorded twenty feature albums, commissioned several works (including a Pulitzer Prize-winning concerto by Jennifer Higdon), been featured on the Oscar-nominated soundtrack of the film The Village, collaborated with a who's who of ensembles, performed in unconventional venues like yoga studios and knitting circles, played for the pope...and visited Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

Courtesy of Lake Street Dive

Bassist and vocalist Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive joins host John Floridis in conversation from her basement studio in Brooklyn, New York on Halloween Eve, 2020.

Kaelen Borowsky

When Duane Betts and Devon Allman decided to join musical forces, the collective heft of their last names served as an additional member of the Allman-Betts Band. Their dads, Dickie Betts and Gregg Allman, had co-founded the Allman Brothers Band.

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