Video: Watch Jeremy Dutcher Perform At The Tiny Desk There is no one making music like this 27-year-old, classically trained opera tenor and pianist. Watch and see why.

Tiny Desk

Jeremy Dutcher

Jeremy Dutcher came to the Tiny Desk with sparkling, purple streams of glitter draped around his shoulders. Then he set his iPad on our Yamaha upright piano, not to read his score as pianists do these days, but to play a centuries-old wax cylinder recording of a song sung in the incredibly rare language of Wolastoq. Jeremy Dutcher, along with cellist Blanche Israel and percussionist and electronics wizard Greg Harrison, wove that old recording into a remarkably passionate performance that was very 21st-century, with a deep nod to a century past.

There is no one making music like this 27-year-old, classically trained opera tenor and pianist. He's not only a member of the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Canada, but one of fewer than 100 people who still speak — and in his case also sing — in Wolastoq. His Tiny Desk performance illustrates his deep respect for his heritage, even as he sings through vocal processors and looping devices of the very present. It's a dialog with the past that earned him a Polaris prize for his 2018 album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (one of NPR Music's top albums of that year). But more importantly, he stresses awareness of a people nearly extinct, to a culture often too steeped in the present.

Watch this remarkably artful performance and take a moment to reflect on those who inhabited our recent past and remain a part of who we are.

SET LIST

  • "Mehcinut"
  • "Pomok naka Poktoinskwes"
  • "Koselwintuwakon"

MUSICIANS

Jeremy Dutcher: lead vocals, piano; Blanche Israel: cello; Greg Harrison: percussion, electronics

CREDITS

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Patrick Boyd; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Nick Michael ; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Photo: Michael Zamora/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

John Legend plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

John Legend (Home) Concert

This four-song set for Tiny Desk's quarantine series is utter joy.

Lyric Jones plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Lyric Jones (Home) Concert

The Boston-born, Los Angeles-based rapper does it all in this performance for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Thao Nguyen plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Thao Nguyen (Home) Concert

Thao is joined by two cellists in this remarkable set for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Lucinda Williams plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Watch Lucinda Williams Play A Tiny Desk From Home

Lucinda Williams and her guitar mate, Stuart Mathis, set up shop for a Tiny Desk home concert at Thirty Tigers' headquarters in Nashville.

Nilüfer Yanya plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Nilüfer Yanya (Home) Concert

After performing for us last year, Nilüfer Yanya rejoins the Tiny Desk team from afar, performing three works from her last album and debuting a new song.

Tom Adams plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tom Adams (Home) Concert

The singer and songwriter plays four new songs from his home in Cornwall, accompanied by a modular synthesizer and fronted by Adams' gifted falsetto.

Lenny Kravitz plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Lenny Kravitz (Home) Concert

The bohemian rock icon performs a Tiny Desk quarantine concert from his home in the Bahamas.

Diana Gordon plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Diana Gordon (Home) Concert

The singer-songwriter channels Whitney Houston, Alanis Morissette and The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan in her Tiny Desk quarantine concert.

Benny Sings plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Benny Sings (Home) Concert

The Dutch singer brings us into his home studio for this Tiny Desk quarantine concert.

Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes play a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tom Misch And Yussef Dayes (Home) Concert

This Tiny Desk quarantine concert features a guest appearance from guitarist John Mayer.

Back To Top