Usman Riaz: Tiny Desk Concert A young Pakistani musician treats the guitar as a percussion instrument — with surprisingly shimmering results. He also performs a piano piece he wrote at just 16.

Tiny Desk

Usman Riaz

Usman Riaz: Tiny Desk Concert

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This is simply astonishing. Watch twenty seconds and you'll be sucked into the world of Usman Riaz, an immensely talented 23-year-old Pakistani musician who will change your perception of how a guitar can sound and be played. What's more remarkable is that this Berklee College of Music whiz kid learned much of his dazzling guitar technique by watching YouTube videos at 16. He also learned what he calls "parlor tricks," like body percussion and harmonica. But the classically trained pianist also used the Internet to learn how to write and conduct orchestra pieces and make films. If you're a skeptic, fine, just watch this youngest of TED senior fellows and be dazzled.

Set List

  • "Boneshaker"
  • "The Waves"
  • "Shimmer"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR

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