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.
Banhart constantly adds new instruments and nuances to his songs, playing with their sound and texture. Yet if anything has remained unchanged, it's Banhart's distinct style and his unique voice. Hear an interview and performance.
This week's From the Top comes from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where a 16-year-old French horn player with an inspirational story performs Saint-Saëns. Also, a teen trio plays music by Arutiunian, and two young guitarists collaborate on traditional tunes in the presence of their idol, the legendary Christopher Parkening. This program originally aired Feb. 7, 2007
With his tenderly plucked acoustic guitar and thoughtful lyrics, 29-year-old Jose Gonzalez is a rising star. He's attracted a worldwide audience to match his heritage: Born in Sweden to Argentine parents, Gonzalez is on his way to U.S. stardom. Hear an interview and performance.
Sea Wolf has a clear sense of nostalgia, at times recalling the likes of Mark Knopfler and Tom Petty. Still, the arrangements hint at a more experimental side, including cello and keyboard. Hear an interview and in-studio performance by Sea Wolf's Alex Brown Church.
Hear the new-wave/indie-rock band Metric give an interview and perform its songs in the studio. Its members discuss their transition into a real live band, and they describe the challenge of matching their live sound to the computer-generated one.
Metric: The Political Gets Personal, and Vice Versa
In September, Medley released a solo album titled Damn Near Righteous — his first release since the death of Righteous Brothers partner Bobby Hatfield. Hear an interview and in-studio performance by the soulful pop legend.
This week's From the Top comes from New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall in Boston, where 18-year-old Samuel Thomas unpacks his accordion to play 'Chopin's Nightmare.' Eleven-year-old violinist Mindy Chen plays a romance by Sarasate, and a talented teen quintet takes on Dvorak. Also, a young cellist chooses Elgar, and a 14-year-old pianist plays Prokofiev.
English singer-songwriter Scott Matthews crafts an endlessly listenable blend of folk, rock and blues. His U.K hit album Passing Stranger finally surfaced in the U.S. last month. Hear an interview and in-studio performance.
Several years ago, influential bluegrass musician Del McCoury decided to do away with modern concert amplification and go back to the basics: three microphones. With his sons at his side, McCoury performs and answers questions about his life in music.
An imaginative and prolific San Francisco singer-songwriter, Vanderslice named his new album Emerald City after the American enclave around Saddam Hussein's former palace. Hear an interview and in-studio performance by the singer, songwriter and producer.
On this week's From the Top, host Christopher O'Riley revisits performances by some of the outstanding teen musicians from past shows, including a brilliant thirteen-year-old pianist who's in medical school, and four trombone students who slide into an ear-catching contemporary work.
Bat for Lashes is the pseudonym of Natasha Khan, a 27-year-old British singer-songwriter. Her debut album, Fur and Gold, was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize for best British or Irish album of the last 12 months — an impressive honor for such a new artist.
At 25, McKay has already carved out a name for herself as a musician, actress and comedian. Smart, quirky, unpredictable and highly original, her three albums have received positive reviews and attracted a cultish audience. Hear an interview and in-studio performance.
Josh Ritter's poetic and intellectually complex lyrics have helped make the singer-songwriter practically a household name in Ireland. But he's not yet well-known in America -– "yet" being the key word. Hear an interview and in-studio performance from NPR's Studio 4A.