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Cheick Hamala Diabate performs a Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices. NPR hide caption

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Cheick Hamala Diabate

Malian tradition lies at the heart and foot-stomping soul of Cheick Hamala Diabate and his band, but their melodies and undeniable rhythms cut across age and ethnicity. Their music often tells a story about Mali and its people as part of the sway and shake.

Portland's Morning Ritual performs live for opbmusic. opbmusic hide caption

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Morning Ritual: A Quiet Storm Blows In From Portland

Rose City jazz pianist Ben Darwish teams up with sisters Katelyn and Laurie Shook (a.k.a. Shook Twins) to form a smoldering jazz-rock outfit that brings to mind Steely Dan or Sade.

Amir ElSaffar & Two Rivers: Golden Sound In A Gleaming Space

Framed by a beautiful array of vintage drums, the trumpeter and santur player pairs the sibling spirits of jazz and Arab classical music with the help of his quintet.

Camera Obscura poses on the set of Morning Becomes Eclectic. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Camera Obscura


The Glaswegian indie-pop band visited the Morning Becomes Eclectic studios during their North American tour. Watch Camera Obscura perform "Do It Again," from the recent Desire Lines.

Laura Mvula performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 15, 2013. Marie McGrory/NPR hide caption

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Laura Mvula

Squeezing Mvula's sound behind Bob Boilen's desk is no tiny task, as she acknowledges partway through this three-song set in the NPR Music offices. The U.K. singer faces the challenge by showcasing her most intimate material.

Maya Beiser performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 9, 2013. Marie McGrory/NPR hide caption

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Maya Beiser

With a stunning command of her instrument, Beiser stays tightly tied to technology. She takes the sound of her cello and runs it through loop pedals to make her instrument shimmer, drone and groove.

Quadron performs at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studios in Santa Monica. Jeremiah Garcia/KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Quadron


The Danish pop star Coco O leads a talented band of Los Angeles musicians on Quadron's major-label debut, Avalanche. Watch her perform "Hey Love," live in Santa Monica, Calif.

Wild Belle performs for a Field Recordings video at South Bay Customs in El Segundo, Calif. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Wild Belle: Reggae-Tinged Romance Amid The Big Bikes


Watch the band play one of its breeziest songs, "Love Like This," at a Los Angeles bike shop. The song's vibe evokes images of sunny, leisurely rides down the famed Pacific Coast Highway.

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Patty Griffin

Griffin has always had a gift for locating a song's nerve endings; for surveying her subject matter and identifying the most efficient possible pathways to listeners' emotions. At the NPR Music offices, Griffin and her band perform three songs from her new album, American Kid.

Laurel Canyon devotee Jonathan Wilson performed a special concert for KEXP. Charina Pitzel/KEXP hide caption

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Jonathan Wilson: Laurel Canyon Personified


The North Carolina singer-songwriter is devoted to replicating the laid-back West Coast groove of the '70s. Watch him perform a new song, "Love Strong," for KEXP at Seattle's US Social Club.