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

Vocalist Moira Smiley balances a dizzying list of simultaneous projects: her own group VOCO; the indie rock band tUnE-yArDs; The Lomax Project; Irish supergroup Solas; and work with Billy Childs.

Jake Shimabukuro

Mar 5, 2015

After his YouTube performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral, ukulele virtuoso and composer Jake Shimabukuro’s career skyrocketed. Several recordings later, he has toured his “Uke Nations” show internationally, and continues to combine elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk and flamenco in his repertoire for this “under-the-radar” instrument. 

Marc Cohn

Feb 26, 2015

In 1991, Marc Cohn took home the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In the two decades since, he has recorded a series of self-titled albums full of piano-based gospel-blues folk songs, and has performed around the world. In 2005, a harrowing near-death experience helped sharpen Cohn’s musical focus.

Locksaw Cartel

Feb 5, 2015

Bridging the gap between finely-honed art rock and funky, jazz spirited dance grooves, Locksaw Cartel
brings a unique combination of performance styles to the stages of Montana.

(Broadcast: "Musicians' Spotlight," 2/5/15. Listen weekly on on the radio Thursdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

Lee Ritenour

Jan 29, 2015

Name a musician who has received one Grammy award and seventeen Grammy nominations, and who recorded 40 albums under his own name and over 3,000 recording sessions as a sideman, accompanying Pink Floyd, Dizzy Gillespie, Simon and Garfunkel, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, among others. Hint: he’s been made an honorary Montanan through his work with the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival. Guitarist and composer Lee Ritenour dropped in for a chat with host John Floridis at 2014 COC festival to talk about his illustrious career.

McElroy Guitars

Though she is known as one of Leonard Cohen's go-to backup vocalists, Grammy-nominated singer, composer and arranger Perla Batalla is an artist with a capital "A."

Trevor Rogers

Jan 1, 2015

The Clumsy Lovers’ songwriter and lead vocalist Trevor Rogers visited host John Floridis to discuss his recent solo recording, Are You Happy Now? Rogers talked about balancing recording and touring with his  full-time gig as a father and husband, as well as the impact on his songwriting from the years he spent living in Missoula.

John Floridis hosts a holiday retrospective edition of "Musician's Spotlight," featuring music by artists who have appeared on the show during the past decade and a half. You'll hear music by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; Derek Trucks with McCoy Tyner; NewGrange; John Gorka; Jerry Douglas; Alison Krauss with Natalie MacMaster; Karan Casey; The Indigo Girls with Brandi Carlile;

Dolce Canto

Dec 18, 2014

Dolce Canto began in 2001 with eight members, friends who missed the a cappella compositions they had studied and performed together in high school and college. On a whim, they decided to gather in order to read through some works. One public concert led to another. Since them, the group has grown to an auditioned ensemble of over thirty singers. John Floridis talks with director Peter Park and singers Tom Bensen and Beth Mast about the release of the group's second recording, "A Joyful Season."

Sean Watkins

Dec 11, 2014

Nickel Creek singer and guitarist Sean Watkins stopped by the MTPR studios during the group's 2014 Montana tour to play some tunes live and talk shop with host John Floridis. Sean describes both the new Nickel Creek album and his own new solo release.

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