NPR Music & Concerts

Music features, reviews and "first listens" from NPR.  For WUNC's music programs,  Back Porch Music.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Fall Compilation

5 hours ago

The Thistle & Shamrock has debuted hundreds of new artists, many of whom have become well-known in the folk, roots and acoustic music world. This week Fiona Ritchie cycles back a little to revisit some releases and debuts from the summer. She delves further into the recordings, all highly deserving of more air time before another batch of new music is released.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR Music presents four very special Tiny Desk Home Concerts recorded especially for this week. This video from global superstar Ozuna is a world premiere.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR Music presents four very special Tiny Desk (home) concerts recorded especially for this week.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR Music presents four very special Tiny Desk Home Concerts recorded especially for this week.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR Music presents four very special Tiny Desk (home) concerts recorded especially for this week.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Biomimicry

Oct 9, 2020

Nature often inspires scientists to create technologies that benefit humanity with innovations known as "biomimicry." Fiona Ritchie follows this notion with music that also takes a leaf out of nature's book, turning towards the natural world for inspiration and sometimes even echoing the sounds of nature. Artists featured include The Bothy Band, Nickel Creek, and John Doyle.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Linda Diaz is the winner of the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest. Due to the pandemic, we're not currently filming Tiny Desks at NPR headquarters, so we brought Diaz and her band to the top of New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and produced a socially-distanced concert in front of the city's skyline. Here's the story of how this concert came together, in her own words.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.


In this Tiny Desk (home) concert, R&B star Jhené Aiko coasts through an eight-song medley that plays like the ultimate nod to her legions of fans — fans who've been begging for a Tiny Desk for a long time.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

This week it's a late summer, early harvest as Fiona Ritchie puts together an hour of new releases. Featured artists include Anadama, Skerryvore, The Black Brothers, and Luka Bloom.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.


We've been trying to make a BTS Tiny Desk concert happen for years now — even gaming out ways we might move Bob Boilen's desk far enough forward to accommodate the superstar Korean boy band's dance moves.

For Tiny Desk Playlists, we ask musicians, creators and folks we admire to choose the Tiny Desk concerts they've come to love. As a proud member of the Bodega hive, I realized we made it when hit podcast and late-night talk show hosts Desus and Mero threw us a friendly jab on their show last year.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Protoje: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Sep 8, 2020

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

More than 60 plucked and stringed West African instruments were the predecessors of the modern banjo. Join Fiona Ritchie to follow the migration of the banjo from its African roots to the heart of American music and hear how it crosses over to sit within the Celtic sound. Bela Fleck, Rhiannon Giddens, Mick Moloney and Our Native Daughters all contribute to the telling of this unique musical story.

For Tiny Desk Playlists, we ask musicians, creators and folks we admire to choose the Tiny Desk concerts they've come to love. For this edition, actress, producer and screenwriter Lena Waithe picks her five favorites. In 2017, Waithe acted in Master of None and wrote a memorable episode titled Thanksgiving that recounts her personal coming out story. Since then, Waithe has steadily been writing for new shows such as The Chi, Boomerang and Twenties.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

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