Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna first caught our attention a few years ago with her rich, textured voice. Since then, she's grown as an artist in many ways, from collaborating with huge talents like Pharrell to starting her own fashion line.
Jagwar Ma is on a quest to revitalize Britpop. Actually, the band may be unintentionally hindering the genre's revival; Noel Gallagher of Oasis has been quoted as saying he and his former bandmates are too busy listening to the budding Australian group to even entertain the idea of reuniting.
Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:14 pm
19 min 17 sec
Our goal for this special holiday Tiny Desk Concert is simple: to bring you joy. Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a hot and historic outfit from New Orleans, and its members brought us a tuba-wielding Santa and some original holiday cheer and praise — what they call a Cajun Christmas from the French Quarter.
Nightmares on Wax was one of the first acts to sign to the Warp Records label, and the man behind the moniker — Ibiza-based DJ and producer George Evelyn — has never stopped exploring new territories for musical inspiration. The latest album, Feelin' Good, is no exception, as Evelyn taps into a talented group of musicians who've contributed their individual styles to help create a fresh new sound.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 12:22 pm
14 min 16 sec
La Santa Cecilia spreads joy every time its members plug in to do a show. They do it one dance step at a time, with cumbias, corridos, elegant mambos and plain old rock 'n' roll.
I first saw La Santa Cecilia perform in an Austin, Texas, parking lot about five years ago. As all great bands do, it showcased an It Factor that has only intensified as the L.A.-based, Mexican-American group works tirelessly to perfect its musical vision.
Given the speed with which the band rose in popularity, it's not surprising that The Head and the Heart would want to slow down for a minute. After all, the Seattle group was performing at open mics just a few years ago, yet now sells out large theaters nationwide.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:19 pm
14 min 56 sec
Her voice feels old, but it's got power that's young and vibrant. In fact, Christine Salem sings songs that are old: They're work songs and chants from the maloya tradition on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. I first heard her in New York City as she shook a flat board called a kayamb, made of cane reeds, with two percussionists flanking her to provide rhythm.
Toward the end of every year, NPR Music invites some of the world's best jazz keyboard players to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We ask them to take on some of their favorite Christmas tunes, solo, and the recording becomes the public radio special A Jazz Piano Christmas.
Of Montreal was founded by singer Kevin Barnes back in 1996; ever since, the Athens, Ga., group has continued to explore new creative possibilities, as true artists do. The band recently returned to Morning Becomes Eclectic to showcase songs from its new album, including "Fugitive Air."