MTPR

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

One of the most dynamic singer-songwriters of any generation, Martin Sexton returns to “Musician's Spotlight,” recording three songs in the studio (with harmony help from the Brothers McCann) and chatting retrospectively about his career.

Missoula-area musicians and life partners Joan Zen and Jason Hicks discuss their longtime musical collaboration, most of whose incarnations bear Joan's name. Their most recent collection of original funk, soul and reggae is called "This Is The Fortunate Life." Zen and Hicks are John Floridis's guests this week on "Musician's Spotlight."

Vera Horan

Virtuoso trumpeter and composer Allen Vizzutti is equally comfortable – and adept - in the jazz and classical domains. Born and raised in Missoula, his dizzying performance and teaching schedule whisks him all over the world. Vizzutti is John Floridis's guest this week on "Musician's Spotlight."

John Floridis hosts a 25th anniversary celebration of Musicians' Spotlight with musical highlights and interview segments from some of the most engaging guests in the program's history. Featured artists include Alison Krauss, B.B. King, David Grisman, Shawn Colvin, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lyle Lovett, Lila Downs and numerous Montana musicians such as Darko Butarac, Eden Atwood and Tom Catmull.

Jake Koelzer, formerly of Bozeman, Montana, brings his blend of jazz-inspired blue-eyed soul to Musicians’ Spotlight. Koelzer writes texturally rich songs that are "beautiful, thoughtful, complicated, and yet completely approachable, with lyrics are smart, compelling, and meaningful."

Montanan Izaak Opatz, a recent guest on the program as a member of the band, The Best Westerns, returns to “Musicians’ Spotlight" with solo project in hand: Mariachi Static. The album was recorded in Los Angeles, and was inspired by all sorts of things: Mojave desert camping excursions; life on a Glacier National Park trail crew; late night ping-pong tournaments - and, of course, unrequited love.

Portland, Oregon-based Blind Pilot has landed among the top indie-pop-folk bands in the country with television appearances on Ellen and The Late Show With David Letterman, and performances at Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival. The band’s lead singer and primary songwriter Israel Nebeker visited with host John Floridis backstage at the Wilma Theater in Missoula to talk about the process of recording their most recent album, “And Then Like Lions."

From the “Musicians’ Spotlight” archives, 2000: One of the most respected and celebrated musicians of her generation, fiddler and vocalist extraordinaire Alison Krauss visited with program host John Floridis backstage at the University Theater in Missoula in 2000.

2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the quintessential Irish-American band, Solas. That year was also marked by the release of the recording, “All These Years,” which features combinations of all the musicians who have been a part of the group over the last two decades.

From the “Musicians’ Spotlight” archives, 2010: He’s known worldwide as the lead singer for the multi-platinum selling pop-rock band, Men At Work, but Colin Hay has been performing for more than two decades as a solo artist. His music was featured on the television show, “Scrubs” and in the feature film, “Garden State,” and now Hay is witnessing a revival of interest in his work as a singer-songwriter.

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