Watch Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea perform on stage at First Avenue in Minneapolis with Lucius
I get more out of connecting people to music than critiquing it. Our Tiny Desk Contest, for example, forges small communities as friends get together to make a music video in hopes of playing a Tiny Desk Concert. This year's winner, a singer and violinist from Duluth, Minn. named Gaelynn Lea, was encouraged by her fiddle students to submit her winning video. Two of the contest judges, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig from the band Lucius, who helped Gaelynn Lea, said they were completely overwhelmed by her submission.
This week, Lucius played at the club First Avenue in Minneapolis. Sometime in the afternoon before the show Lucius emailed Gaelynn Lea and invited her to join the band on stage that night. They did a little run-through backstage and then surprised the audience by bringing her out on stage. The result is captured on this YouTube video. I'm going to say that watching this video brought me to tears. There's something so beautiful going on between those voices and Gaelynn's playing, but even more was the connection that I felt between a band on the rise and a musician with dreams who is filled with hope and praise. I feel proud of our pick and so thrilled to see the fruits of our contest.