March 2, 2009
Anna Christopher, NPR




NPR Music YouTube Channel Launches Today
With In-Studio Sessions, Concerts, Interviews

March 2, 2009; Washington, D.C. – Venerable superstar Tom Jones came the closest he’s been to having a desk job when he belted out a handful of songs behind a cubicle at NPR Music – an intimate concert, in an unlikely venue, that debuts today as part of NPR Music’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series. The video of Jones’ “Tiny Desk” performance is streaming now and available as a podcast at:

Jones, in D.C. for a concert later that night, sang a handful of songs – “If He Should Ever Leave You,” “Green Green Grass of Home,” “We Got Love” and “End of the Road” – in the NPR offices with gusto normally reserved for 10,000-seat venues. The Welch crooner is touring the states around the release of 24 Hours, his first U.S. studio album in more than 15 years. Jones’ “Tiny Desk Concert” is also the featured video on NPR Music’s new YouTube channel – – where visitors can find videos of concerts, in-studio sessions and interviews in all genres.

The “Tiny Desk Concert” series invites musicians to an unlikely stage for a live concert – the desk of Bob Boilen, host and producer of NPR Music’s All Songs Considered – with equally unlikely results. There are five members of Shearwater, complete with banjos and homemade “waterphone”; Vic Chestnut on guitar for an intimate mini-concert; and Laura Gibson, whose soft vocals were the inspiration for the series in the first place.

NPR Music also offers videos of artist interviews; live concerts, such as Vampire Weekend and Lightspeed Champion at last year’s South By Southwest Music Festival; and in-studio sessions with the likes of classical pianist Lang Lang and singer-songwriter Rachel Yamagata. Adding to this catalogue is “Project Song,” a video feature challenging songwriters to compose a new song in two days, while NPR Music documents the process. Nellie McKay, Stephen Merritt and Georgie James have already taken part, and Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla is next up for the challenge.

NPR Music features content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, and original-to-NPR Music features such as live performances, studio sessions, music lists, interviews, reviews and blogs. “Exclusive First Listen” joins NPR Music’s continuously expanding sections dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. Next month, NPR Music is live from South By Southwest in Austin, TX, to present concerts from The Decemberists, Blitzen Trapper, The Avett Brothers, K’NAAN and many others. Details are at: