Photos From Behind The Tiny Desk

  • NPR's Michael Katzif (left) helps set up a microphone for Chuck Brown. September 15, 2010
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    NPR's Michael Katzif (left) helps set up a microphone for Chuck Brown. September 15, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • The Godfather of Go-Go brings his 11-member group for a sweaty dance party at the Tiny Desk. September 15, 2010
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    The Godfather of Go-Go brings his 11-member group for a sweaty dance party at the Tiny Desk. September 15, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • As the office's temperature rises, Chuck Brown teases the audience by taking off his suit jacket. September 15, 2010
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    As the office's temperature rises, Chuck Brown teases the audience by taking off his suit jacket. September 15, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Rana Santacruz's accordion during his Tiny Desk Concert performance.  September 17, 2010
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    Rana Santacruz's accordion during his Tiny Desk Concert performance. September 17, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Rana Santacruz and bandmates during a soundcheck. September 17, 2010
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    Rana Santacruz and bandmates during a soundcheck. September 17, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Members of Khaira Arby get into the beat during a music break in one of their songs. September 13, 2010
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    Members of Khaira Arby get into the beat during a music break in one of their songs. September 13, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Khaira Arby and band performing their Tiny Desk Concert. September 17, 2010
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    Khaira Arby and band performing their Tiny Desk Concert. September 17, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Bob Boilen picks up Basia Bulat's guitar before her Tiny Desk performance. September 27, 2010
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    Bob Boilen picks up Basia Bulat's guitar before her Tiny Desk performance. September 27, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Basia Bulat playing a Tiny Desk Concert. September 27, 2010
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    Basia Bulat playing a Tiny Desk Concert. September 27, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Members of Basia Bulats backing group playing with an intense focus. September 27, 2010
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    Members of Basia Bulats backing group playing with an intense focus. September 27, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars playing behind Bob Boilen's desk. September 10, 2010
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    Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars playing behind Bob Boilen's desk. September 10, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars playing behind Bob Boilen's desk. September 10, 2010
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    Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars playing behind Bob Boilen's desk. September 10, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars playing behind Bob Boilen's desk. September 10, 2010
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    Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars playing behind Bob Boilen's desk. September 10, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan of Stars performing at the Tiny Desk. September 29, 2010
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    Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan of Stars performing at the Tiny Desk. September 29, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Bob Boilen walks through Stars as they do a soundcheck for their Tiny Desk Concert. September 29, 2010
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    Bob Boilen walks through Stars as they do a soundcheck for their Tiny Desk Concert. September 29, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Tom Tom Club singing classic hits "Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood" during their Tiny Desk Concert. September 23, 2010
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    Tom Tom Club singing classic hits "Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood" during their Tiny Desk Concert. September 23, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Tom Tom Club singing classic hits "Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood" during their Tiny Desk Concert. September 23, 2010
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    Tom Tom Club singing classic hits "Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood" during their Tiny Desk Concert. September 23, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • A close up of a guitar from Tom Tom Club. September 23, 2010
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    A close up of a guitar from Tom Tom Club. September 23, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Abigail Washburn performing a Tiny Desk Concert. September 22, 2010
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    Abigail Washburn performing a Tiny Desk Concert. September 22, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Members of Abigail Washburn's backing band play behind Bob Boilen's desk.  September 22, 2010
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    Members of Abigail Washburn's backing band play behind Bob Boilen's desk. September 22, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR
  • Abigail Washburn tunes her banjo in a hallway at NPR. September 22, 2010
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    Abigail Washburn tunes her banjo in a hallway at NPR. September 22, 2010
    Photos by Abby Verbosky/NPR

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A couple times a week, a tour group comes through our corner of the NPR offices to see where the so-called "magic" happens. To be honest, it's really just a bunch of cluttered desks and people working silently while wearing headphones. But for at least some of the visitors, it's one of their favorite stops, in part because they can see where we film the Tiny Desk Concerts.

One of the first things people say when they actually see Bob Boilen's desk is "Oh, it really is tiny." (The camera adds ten pounds).  The artists in particular routinely have a bemused smirk when they arrive, as if thinking "How is our 7-piece band going to fit in that impossibly small space?"  This is usually followed by "What have we gotten ourselves into?"

This is both the challenge and the charm of the Tiny Desk Concerts.

In addition to shooting videos , we also take a lot of superb photos, most of which go unused and sadly unseen. The gallery above is just a sampling of some of our most recent Tiny Desk Concerts, captured by multimedia intern Abby Verbosky. They offer an excellent view into how we convert our modest workplace into our own makeshift music venue.  (They also look best in full-screen mode).

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