Tiny Desk Intimate concerts, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen.

Angel Olsen

Without her backing band, the expressive, powerful singer previews songs from her new album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness. Watch her and you'll see calm in her eyes; listen to her and you'll sense torment in her heart.

Robert Glasper Experiment

The pianist builds R&B with old-school values: singers who don't need software, live improvising, hand-built beats. They're jazz aesthetics, essentially — readily evident when members of his Grammy-winning Experiment band jam with singer Marsha Ambrosius.

Afro Blue performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Nov. 11, 2013. Abbey Oldham/NPR hide caption

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Afro Blue

Playful and unassuming, the nine members of Afro Blue seem like average college students. But don't let that fool you: They sing as one refined and powerful voice, perfectly blended and mature.

Lily & Madeleine, at a Tiny Desk concert in November 2013. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Lily & Madeleine

Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz aren't the youngest musicians ever to play the Tiny Desk, but they come pretty close. Their music — a restrained, homespun mix of folk and pop with undeniably sweet harmonies — certainly ranks among the loveliest to grace the NPR Music offices.

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo performs a Tiny Desk Concert in October 2013. Meredith Rizzo/Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Van-Anh Vanessa Vo

As a young girl in Vietnam, Van-Anh Vanessa Vo wanted to be a traditional musician although it was a world dominated by men. She pestered a master teacher for three years before he finally gave in.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at the Tiny Desk on Dec. 3, 2013. John W. Poole/John W. Poole hide caption

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The hot and historic band from New Orleans brings us a tuba-wielding Santa and some original holiday cheer and praise — what its members call a Cajun Christmas from the French Quarter.

La Santa Cecilia performs a Tiny Desk Concert in November 2013. Meredith Rizzo/Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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La Santa Cecilia

La Santa Cecilia spreads joy every time its members plug in to do a show. They do it one dance step at a time, with cumbias, corridos, elegant mambos and plain old rock 'n' roll. The video here provides just a hint of the band's dynamic live shows, albeit a spectacular one.

Christine Salem performs a Tiny Desk Concert on October 14, 2013. NPR hide caption

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Christine Salem

Her voice feels old, but it's got power that's young and vibrant. In fact, Christine Salem sings songs that are old: They're work songs and chants from the maloya tradition on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

Dessa performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 24, 2013. Abbey Oldham/Abbey Oldham/NPR hide caption

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Dessa

The rapper, singer, poet and songwriter performs three tracks from this year's Parts of Speech with the aid of a full band. With backing vocals from Aby Wolf, Dessa overcame a bad cold to nail this forceful, whip-smart set.

Sarah Jarosz performs a Tiny Desk Concert in September 2013. Meredith Rizzo/Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Sarah Jarosz

All polished young pros, Jarosz, fiddler Alex Hargreaves and cellist Nathaniel Smith breezed into the NPR Music offices to knock us out with a careful mix of technical proficiency and poppy warmth.