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

At KEXP, Pela put aside its high-voltage stage antics to perform acoustic arrangements of new songs. Ron Henry hide caption

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Pela: Brand-New Songs, Unplugged

KEXP

Singer Billy McCarthy and his band Pela put aside their high-voltage stage antics to introduce four new songs in a session from KEXP. But instead of what will inevitably end up as album versions, the group treated KEXP to acoustic arrangements.

Session Spotlight: Pela Performs 'Strange Days'

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Stefon Harris Blackout performs at WBGO. Josh Jackson/See More Photos hide caption

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Stefon Harris Blackout: E Pluribus Urban

WBGO

Five years ago, vibraphonist and marimba player Stefon Harris started Blackout. It's a troupe of music mercenaries adept in the language of jazz, the strut of soul music and the raucous ruckus of breakbeats, go-go and new-jack rhythms. Hear Blackout bring swagger to modern jazz in a session from WBGO.

Stefon Harris Blackout In Studio On WBGO 7/17/09

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Marc-Andre Hamelin plays one of his own transcriptions of a second-hand arrangement of an old French chanson in the Performance Today studio. Fran Kaufman hide caption

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Marc Andre Hamelin: The Praiseworthy Pianist

American Public Media

Hamelin doesn't like to be called a virtuoso, but his skills are hard to deny. Hear him indulge his two pianistic passions in the APM studio: making the treacherously difficult sound easy and uncovering pieces by little-known composers.

Hear Marc-Andre Hamelin At The Performance Today Studio

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Gregg Greenwood

A Camp: Inspired By Wig Powder And Bowie

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

The Cardigans' Nina Persson also plays and records with a two-thirds Swedish trio inspired by wig powder, imperialism and the Bowery. She and her band sat down with Rita Houston to discuss Persson's affinity for David Bowie and Nicolai Dunger.

Stronger Than Jesus

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Pianist Monty Alexander embraces a wide variety of musical styles. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Monty Alexander: Living The Good Life

KNKX Public Radio

Monty Alexander not only loves jazz, but everything else. In fact, there isn't much music he doesn't like — blues, old pop songs, boogie-woogie, reggae, classical pieces, even cowboy songs. In a session with Jazz24, he even yodels when he talks about cowboy songs.

Monty Alexander In Studio On Jazz24 7/31/09

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Zap Mama at KEXP. Jon Kertzer hide caption

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Zap Mama: New 'ReCreations' In The Studio

KEXP

"Afropean" singer Marie Daulne is Zap Mama. She formed the group as an a cappella quintet in the late '80s, influenced by Central Asian pygmy music. But over the years, Daulne took on more members and transformed Zap Mama into a pan-global dance group. In a session from KEXP, the group performs new songs.

Zap Mama: New 'ReCreations' In The Studio

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Robyn Hitchcock. George Wright hide caption

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Robyn Hitchcock: A Stranger In 'Oslo'

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Hitchcock could be said to pick up where Syd Barrett left off: He's a master of slightly cracked, psychedelic pop whimsy. In a session from WFUV, he performs new material, including an as-yet-unreleased Peter Buck collaboration called "Propeller Time."

Robyn Hitchcock in Studio on WFUV 6/5/09

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WGBH Radio

The young Israeli pianist has impressive technique, as well as a depth of insight that's rare for a 25-year-old. Kohlberg digs deep into the tangled mind and music of Robert Schumann for a studio audience at WGBH in Boston.

Hear Yaron Kohlberg Play Schumann at WGBH

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Au Revoir Simone: We're Not French

KEXP

In a session from KEXP, Au Revoir Simone's members set the record straight: Their band name is a Pee-Wee's Big Adventure reference. They are from Brooklyn, not France. With that out of the way, the all-keyboard trio performs sweet melodies from its self-released album.

Au Revoir Simone in Studio on KEXP 6/16/09

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Allen Toussaint: The Road Through America

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

WFUV's New York City home is more than a thousand miles from New Orleans. But on a recent fine day, a favorite son of the Crescent City brought his city's sounds to the station's Studio-A piano. Throughout the session, pianist Allen Toussaint led the way down through the different "musics" of New Orleans.

Allen Toussaint in Studio on WFUV 4/20/09

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