Host Bios

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
Debra D'Alessandro

On-Air Host for Amazon Country

Things You Might Not Know About Debra D'Alessandro

Born & Raised

Pittsburgh, PA

First Record Purchased

John Denver's Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (1973)

First Concert

Jethro Tull at the Stanley Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

All Time Favorite Bands/Artists

Toshi Reagon and Big Lovely, Sweet Honey in the Rock, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello... never a complete list, so I'll stop there.

Favorite Movie

When Harry Met Sally... I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy.

Musician You were was most excited to meet?

Cris Williamson and Tret Fure

Favorite People

Geez, that's hard. I'll go with people actually in my life, as opposed to the most admired historic figures. Carole Brown, my partner of 16 years Granny (a.k.a. Estes Kathryn Tankersley), my adopted grandmother who passed away in October 2007 at the spry age of 93.

Bands you've played in

No bands, but here are the choirs I've sung in:
Anna Crusis Women's Choir (1993 to 2000) SheWho, (2001 to present)

Favorite Local Bands

Christine Havrilla (
Cassendre Xavier (

How You Got into Radio

I was a longtime fan of Amazon Country, from the Laney Goodmyn days. In 1996, I heard there was a new Amazon Country host, and I faxed her to say I would have loved to audition for her job, but in lieu of that I would be happy to volunteer to help with the show, or lend music (as I had with previous host Elena Bouvier). Bob Bumbera (who was director of Public Affairs Programming at the time) called to tell me that host was temporary and not staying on (I can't for the live of me remember her name), and did I want to apply?

I convinced Bob Bumbera I could translate my experience as a performance poet into radio host skills... and he gave me a try!

Weirdest Boss

That would have to be Bruce Warren!

Three more things you don't know about me

1) I get hiccups several times every day, but have NEVER had them when I'm on stage or on the air.
2) I was a Boy Scout (president of Explorer Scout Post 61... it is a co-ed branch).
3) I have a crush on Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.

Previous jobs, stations

I hosted Philly Live, and then OutLoud, GLBT-themed live call-in talk shows on WYBE-TV (channel 35) from 2000 to 2005. We were the first TV talk show of our kind in the country (other GLBT shows had aired, but never in a live talk format). We were twice nominated for Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.


BS from Temple University, 1986 (Political Science Major, Womens' Studies Minor)
Master of Public Health from Columbia University (Management and Policy concentration), 2008