Studio SessionsMusicians perform and discuss their work in the studios of NPR and NPR Music station partners. Live music sessions, interviews, and the best new songs in rock, pop, folk, classical, jazz, blues, urban, and world music. Watch video sessions.
The chamber ensemble earned two Grammy nominations for its 2009 album, which rearranged classic tunes by the jazz composer Dave Brubeck. On the eve of the Grammy Awards, the string quartet visited NPR to play songs like "Blue Rondo a la Turk."
In this special edition of World Cafe, Grammy-nominated artists perform live versions of their songs. Best New Artist nominees The Ting Tings and Silversun Pickups both make appearances, along with many others.
Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider plays one of the most famous fiddles around: a 1741 Guarneri del Gesu that once belonged to the beloved violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler. Hear Znaider play works by Kreisler in the WGBH studios.
After connecting with producer Jonathan Wilson, the band began to take part in informal jam sessions with artists like Conor Oberst and Benmont Tench. Recorded to analog tape during a live session in Laurel Canyon, Dawes' debut album, North Hills, mixes conventional folk arrangements with contemporary trimmings. The result is nostalgic and fashionable in the same breath.
Drawing inspiration from Charlie Poole, Wainwright has assembled something of a memorial to the influential but under-appreciated Prohibition-era banjo player. High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project is a mixture of standards associated with Poole and new songs which expand upon his life story.
A unique collaboration between African and European musicians, Burkina Electric is a group of six performers, singers and dancers from Burkina Faso, Germany and Austria — all now based primarily in New York City. Led by composer Lukas Ligeti, the band performs for KEXP.
What happens when two of the biggest driving forces in indie rock collaborate on album based on Jack Kerouac's beat poetry? The answer: 12 rapturous Americana songs recorded by Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo), titled One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur.
Benjamin Gibbard And Jay Farrar In Studio On World Cafe 12/15/09
The Los Angeles-based singing group combines glee club harmonies with novel vocal techniques and electronic manipulation. The sextet visited NPR's Studio 4A to perform its versions of songs by Fleet Foxes, Chris Isaak and the Jackson 5.
Pianist Cedar Walton was a guest on the very first season of Piano Jazz, and he returns as part of the program's continuing 30th-anniversary celebration. Walton joins guest host Bill Charlap to talk about his early attempts at composition, and to play his tunes "Midnight Waltz" and "Braymon's Blues."
Rae follows her hugely successful debut with The Sea, an intimate and emotional album that reflects on the 2008 death of her husband. In this session for WXPN, the soulful pop singer performs four songs from her new album.
One of the leading voices in '60s and '70s folk, Sainte-Marie wrote songs like "Universal Soldier," which she performs in this session from WFUV. At Studio-A, the singer was down to earth, flashed her 100-watt smile and laughed easily.
Session Spotlight: Buffy Sainte-Marie Performs 'Universal Soldier'
A love letter of sorts to the band's hometown of Memphis, Lucero's recent 1372 Overton Park finds the group expanding its sound with fleshed-out arrangements. In this session for World Cafe, Lucero plays gritty alt-country rock.
San Antonio's Hacienda knows how to pay homage to its musical lineage. Not many bands can convincingly cover the likes of The Everly Brothers and Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, but Hacienda pulls it off in style during this session from KUT.
Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono founded Playing for Change as a way to connect the world through music. Their videos of musicians worldwide playing the same song were viral hits, and now a group of musicians has been brought together to create the Playing for Change band.
Playing For Change In Studio On World Cafe 12/23/09