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Michael Katzif/NPR

Maria Volonte

Argentine singer Maria Volonte's powerful, refreshing interpretation of tango is fully capable of transplanting itself into folk, Latin blues or the traditional music of Peru, Uruguay and Brazil. With its mature sensuality, her music is filled with a potent brew of nostalgia and melancholy.

Cristina Fletes/NPR

The Music Tapes

Somewhere inside Julian Koster lives a boy full of wonder and imagination. Performing with his band The Music Tapes, he plays a holiday set complete with bowed banjos, singing saws and tape machines.

Mallory Benedict/NPR

Gem Club

Maybe you couldn't hear a pin drop when Gem Club played, but you could hear the click of a keyboard.

Little Dragon lead singer, Yukimi Nagano. Jeremiah Garcia/KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Little Dragon

KCRW

Led the charismatic and soulful Yukimi Nagano, the Swedish dance-pop band has developed a strong following in the U.S., especially L.A. and New York. Watch as the band performs songs from its new album, Ritual Union, in front of a live audience at KCRW.

I-Wayne performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices on October 13, 2011. Cristina M. Fletes/NPR hide caption

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I Wayne

The reggae star said little between his van and the NPR Music offices. But as soon as the cameras started rolling, he came to life right on cue, showcasing his smooth voice and vibrant energy.

Seamus Blake performs live at Berklee College of Music. Armeen Musa/Courtesy of Berklee College of Music hide caption

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Seamus Blake Quartet: Live In Concert

WBGO

The tenor saxophonist, one of the top improvisers working today, leads a band at his alma mater.

Mallory Benedict/NPR

tUnE-yArDs

With loop pedals and an irrepressible voice, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus makes powerful and danceable songs that spring to life before your eyes. Watch Garbus perform three buoyant songs from this year's stunning w h o k i l l.

Other Lives performs at OPB. Inger Klekacz hide caption

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Other Lives: Strange And Epic Beauty

opbmusic.org

The minimalist patterns of Philip Glass and Ennio Morricone's enigmatic Spaghetti Western moods infuse this Oklahoma band's inventive compositions.