Favorite Sessions Exclusive studio sessions recorded at public radio stations across the country.

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Pacific Grooves Straight Outta Choc Quib Town

KUT 90.5

Choc Quib Town, a hip-hop act from Colombia's Pacific coast, mixes in marimba and other traditional instruments with turntables and keyboards, creating a world beat-infused sound. In a session from KUT, the joy they bring to their craft is evident and infectious.

Choc Quib Town In Studio On KUT

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Murray Perahia. Felix Broede/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Murray Perahia: Bonding With Bach And Chopin

American Public Media

Few pianists can match Perahia's lucid clarity and warm, rippling sound. Hear him play Chopin and Bach, and discuss their music with Performance Today host Fred Child in NPR's studio.

Hear Murray Perahia Play Bach And Chopin At NPR

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Will Stratton. Spinning On Air hide caption

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Will Stratton: Songs As Statements Of Fact

WNYC Radio

Though only 22, Stratton already has a considerable repertoire under his belt as he gets to work on his third album. Here, the singer-songwriter plays intimate, delicate folk music in a live session for WNYC's Spinning on Air. The performance as a whole is available to stream, and Stratton has also opted to release the live set as a free downloadable EP.

Spotlight: "Do You Remember The Morning"

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He might be young, but Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz has a deep connection to the music of Frederic Chopin. Felix Broede/Deutsche Grammophon hide caption

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Rafal Blechacz's Single-Minded Chopin

American Public Media

The young Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz has cultivated a deep connection to Chopin's music. Five years ago, at age 20, he swept all the awards at the International Chopin competition. Host Fred Child finds out how he did it, and asks him to play a Chopin Mazurka or two.

Hear Rafal Blechacz Play Chopin At NPR

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Dessa performs at KEXP. Alex Crick/See More Photos hide caption

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Dessa: Hip-Hop Word Warrior

KEXP

Her eyes half-closed, Minneapolis MC Dessa flowed through the rhymes from her new album, A Badly Broken Code, at KEXP. Her hands moved with the rhythm, and her voice was pitch-perfect.

Session Spotlight: Dessa Performs 'Alibi'

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Solas performs at Folk Alley. Mark Urycki hide caption

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Solas: America's Wild Irish Rose

Folk Alley

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with an Irish jig? The members of Solas are all American, but they play Celtic folk music with authority. In a session from Folk Alley, the quintet performs an instrumental from The Turning Tide, and two songs featuring vocalist Mairead Phelan.

Pianist Adam Neiman performs Chopin's Ballade No. 4 in NPR Studio 4A. Courtesy of Adam Neiman hide caption

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A Chopin Ballade To Blow You Away

American Public Media

Adam Neiman lets his fingers do the talking, tearing into the dramatic Ballade No. 4 by Chopin. The young American pianist says the music tells a story that's both ferocious and tender. Neiman also plays a piece of his own in NPR's studio.

Hear Adam Neiman Play Chopin In The NPR Studio

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In an interview at KPLU, Esperanza Spalding talks about two new projects for 2010 and performs two jazz standards solo. Chris Graythen/Getty Images Entertainment hide caption

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Esperanza Spalding: Just Bass And Voice

Jazz24

Because of her rigorous touring schedule, Spalding decided to give her band the afternoon off and showed up at KPLU's studio all by herself, with just her bass and her voice. As you'll hear, that was enough.

Esperanza Spalding In Studio On KPLU

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Nneka. Youri Lenquette hide caption

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Nneka: The Soul Of Acoustic Afrobeat

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Brains, beauty and beats collide in the music of Nigerian-born newcomer Nneka. A small woman with an afro bigger than most, the singer was warm and engaging from the start of one of her first U.S. radio appearances.

Nneka In Studio On WFUV 11/9/09

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Gregoire Maret (left) and John Ellis of Double-Wide perform at WBGO. David Tallacksen/See More Photos hide caption

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John Ellis Double-Wide: Jazz Gets Jocular

WBGO

The New York-based saxophonist leads a New Orleans-style parade band with a circus tendency. Hear three originals from Puppet Mischief in this session from WBGO.

John Ellis Double-Wide In Studio On WBGO 1/9/10

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Garrick Ohlsson won the International Chopin Competition in 1970, and he's been playing the composer's music ever since. Philip Jones Griffiths hide caption

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Garrick Ohlsson: The Chopin Guy

WNYC Radio

In 1970, in Cold War-era Warsaw, an unknown American pianist named Garrick Ohlsson stunned the classical world by winning the International Chopin Competition. The composer's music has played a huge role in Ohlsson's career ever since. Hear him play Chopin in the WNYC studio.

Hear Garrick Ohlsson Play Chopin at WNYC

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Bomba Estereo performs at KEXP. Dave Lichterman/See More Photos hide caption

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Bomba Estereo: Cumbia That Hits Like A Wave

KEXP

At KEXP, there was no point in resisting Bomba Estereo's infectious groove. Colombian cumbia and champeta rhythms are at the root of the band's sound, while vocalist Liliana Saumet brings wild movement and color to the forefront in this session.

Hear And Download The Full Session From KEXP

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Kings of Convenience. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Kings Of Convenience: Honey-Dipped Fury

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Making eiderdown-plush folk-pop songs buoyed by sweet harmonies, the Norwegian duo takes a surprisingly bold political stance on its recent album Declaration of Dependence. As its members' voices met in perfect confluence at WFUV, accompanied only by acoustic guitar, those in Studio-A quickly went from casual fans to happy acolytes.

Kings Of Convenience In Studio On WFUV 9/9/09

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The Greencards. David McClister hide caption

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The Greencards: The Pursuit Of Perfection

Folk Alley

When the continent-straddling bluegrass group launches into the Grammy-nominated "Crystal Merchant," a meticulously crafted studio session springs to life. Once the band plays, it's easy to forget the technique involved, because the music is so engaging. Here, the group pulls off a remarkable performance for Folk Alley.

Jonsi Birgisson. Lilja & Inga Birgisdottir hide caption

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Jonsi: Sigur Ros' Gear Geek Goes Acoustic

WNYC Radio

Plenty of musicians can talk about Fender Stratocasters, righteous tube amps and fancy soundboards. But the real gear geeks are heavy into microphones. Before Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi Birgisson performed two acoustic songs from his upcoming album Go, WNYC's engineer showed him the station's impressive collection of vintage mics.

Session Spotlight: Jonsi Performs "Go Do"

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