May-Ying Lam/NPR

Bettye LaVette

We were not prepared for Bettye LaVette's appearance in the NPR Music offices. We thought we were — having set up our cameras and recording gear and signed in all the friends who had heard she was scheduled to play and beaten down our door. But then she blew into the room and conquered it before she'd sung a single note.

May-Ying Lam/NPR

Phoenix

The band's instantly recognizable hits such as "1901" and "Lisztomania" were stripped down and reassembled as sweetly shambling acoustic numbers.

May-Ying Lam/NPR

Tarrus Riley

In the calm-before-the-storm part of the day and week — 10 o'clock on a Monday morning, to be exact — reggae singer Tarrus Riley, saxophonist Dean Fraser and guitarist Lamont Savory showed up and performed three gorgeous, harmony-drenched reggae songs.

Moby performs at NPR. David Gilkey and John Poole/NPR hide caption

toggle caption David Gilkey and John Poole/NPR

Moby And Kelli Scarr

On an early winter's evening, with an acoustic guitar and lyric sheet in hand, Moby and Kelli Scarr strolled up to Bob Boilen's desk and gave a small concert. The casual affair was the duo's first-ever live performance of their brand-new Project Song creation, "Gone to Sleep."

May-Ying Lam/NPR

Fredrik

Fredrik's new record, Trilogi, is a strange, dark concept album meticulously crafted in a studio, so there was no telling how the band might pull off its songs in a Tiny Desk Concert. With a single strummed guitar, a snare drum, a maraca and triggered odd sounds, it all came together beautifully.

May-Ying Lam/NPR

Lionel Loueke

Listen to any Lionel Loueke record long enough and you'll wonder, "How did he make that noise?" When the unusual jazz guitarist and his drummer showed up for a video performance at the NPR Music offices — literally with bells on — they helped answer that question.

May-Ying Lam/NPR

David Russell

With rippling notes, intertwining melodies and a warm, lyrical tone, classical guitarist David Russell plays pieces from the baroque, from Latin America and from deep in the soul of Spain.

Regina Carter performs a Tiny Desk Concert. May-Ying Lam/NPR hide caption

toggle caption May-Ying Lam/NPR

Regina Carter

Carter's violin has expressed moods inspired by European classical, bebop, Afro-Cuban and Southern blues music.

Jakob Dylan performing a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR with Neko Case and Kelly Hogan. May-Ying Lam/NPR hide caption

toggle caption May-Ying Lam/NPR

Jakob Dylan

There have only been a handful of Tiny Desk Concerts where NPR employees have overflowed our modest office space, stepping away from looming deadlines to hear some music. Jakob Dylan and his touring companions, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan and Paul Rigby, joined those ranks when they stopped by to perform a mesmerizing, stripped-down set of songs from his latest record, Women and Country.

Wye Oak performs a Tiny Desk Concert. May-Ying Lam/NPR hide caption

toggle caption May-Ying Lam/NPR

Wye Oak

The Baltimore duo didn't have to travel far to liven up a day at the NPR Music offices. Wye Oak's four-song Tiny Desk Concert draws two songs from a new EP called My Neighbor/My Creator, another from 2007's If Children and an as-yet-unreleased song called "Civilian."