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Minyo Crusaders: Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts

Every January, I attendat a New York City nightclub and see some of the most fantastic music I'll experience all year. Now, given the pandemic's challenges and the hardening of international borders, NPR Music and globalFEST moved the 2021 edition from the nightclub to your screen of choice and shared the festival with the world. We called itTiny Desk Meets globalFEST. We presented 16 artists in intimate settings (often behind desks donning globes), all hosted by African superstarAngélique Kidjo.

Min'yō folk music was originally sung by Japanese fishermen, coal miners and sumo wrestlers hundreds of years ago, and the Minyo Crusaders are on a mission to make these songs relevant to an international audience. For their performance, the Crusaders found a unique take for their desk: a "kotatsu," which is a heated Japanese table traditionally used for gathering in the winter months. This concert took place during the second night of our 2021 festival. --globalFEST


  • "Hohai Bushi"
  • "Yasugi Bushi"
  • "Aizu Bandaisan"

  • Freddy Tsukamoto: vocals
  • Katsumi Tanaka: guitar
  • Meg: vocals
  • Moe: keyboards, effects
  • Shoji Ishiguro: bass
  • Muupy : bongos, drum machine
  • Irochi: congas
  • Sono: timbales
  • Koichiro Osawa: saxophone
  • Yomoda 'temjin' Naohito: trumpet

  • Video Production Company: PAI (Proyectos Audiovisuales Independientes)
  • Director: Dana Bonilla
  • Video Producer: Lorena Tulini
  • Art Director: Blanca Martínez López
  • Director of Photography: Dana Bonilla
  • Recording & Mixing Engineer: Luiggi Enciso Gomero
  • Audio Mastering: Julio César Villena

  • Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST


  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame
  • Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

  • Co-Directors: Shanta Thake, Isabel Soffer, and Bill Bragin
  • 2021 Curators: Shanta Thake, Isabel Soffer, Bill Bragin, and Viviana Benitez
  • Event Producer: Ian Thake
  • Host: Angélique Kidjo
  • Social Media Manager: Valerie French
  • Publicity: Brendan Gilmartin, Chart Room Media
  • Legal Services: Tamizdat
  • Legal Services: Duane Morris
  • Producer: THE OFFICE performing arts + film
  • Video Production: MODEMA Studios
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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