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.
Duncan Sheik burst onto the music scene in 1997 with his hit single "Barely Breathing," and garnered rave reviews for his own brand of folk-tinged pop music. For his fourth record, Daylight, New York-based Sheik — singer, songwriter, composer, producer and guitarist — dares to rock out a little more than usual. He talks to NPR's Jacki Lyden.
In Anouar Brahem's native Tunisia, the oud is known today mainly in the context of loud and large ensembles that leave it all but buried in a dervish of sound. But Brahem highlights the stringed instrument in a delicate, often introspective context. On his new CD, Le pas du chat noir, the oud is part of an unlikely trio including piano and accordion. He talks with Liane Hansen on Weekend Edition Sunday.
Graham Nash releases a new solo album, Songs for Survivors. For Weekend Edition Sunday, he performs two songs from the album, and talks about his relationship with David Crosby, his photography, and the art of writing "simple songs." NPR Online has the interview in its entirety and a video of his performance in Studio 4A.
Hailing from Sweden, the Esbjorn Svensson Trio has long practiced a fresh, inventive style of improvisation. Its members talk about the differences between American and European approaches to jazz, and perform in NPR's Studio 4A.
Known as a traditional Irish band, Solas decided to try something new on its latest CD: blending traditional Celtic music with more contemporary songs from Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and others. They recently visited NPR to perform songs from their new CD, The Edge of Silence. (Shanachie Re
Renee talks with three folk fiddlers who make up the band "Celtic Fiddle Festival." They're currently touring the west coast of the U.S., playing Celtic tunes from Ireland, Brittany, and Scotland. There's one fiddler from each nation, so they each take a solo turn to show how their styles are different. Celtic Fiddle Festival's latest CD is called, Rendezvous.
Singer-songwriter Greg Greenway is a modern-day troubadour, traveling the country plying his trade--playing the guitar and singing folk songs. Lisa talks to Greg about songwriting during a performance chat in NPR's Studio 4A.
Tish Hinojosa is a singer/songwriter from San Antonio, Texas. She talks about her memories of Christmas in a Mexican-American household — the smells, the sights and, most importantly, the sounds. And she plays songs that take her, and many other Mexican Americans, back to their childhood: "Arbolito," "A La Nanita Nana," and "Las Mananitas."
Liane Hansen speaks with banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck. The five-time Grammy winner has presented the instrument in jazz, rock, bluegrass and country settings. Now he's entered the classical world, playing everything from Bach to Beethoven to Chopin on a new cd, Perpetual Motion (Sony Classical SK 89610). Fleck also plays a selection for us from the studios of WPLN in Nashville.
Linda Wertheimer is joined in our performance studio by The Slackers, a ska band from New York City. The seven members are all Generation-Xers who are devoted to ska, a precursor to reggae born in 1950s Jamaica. The band gives a demonstration of the unique beat — or "off-beat" — that characterizes ska, and plays songs from the latest Slackers CD, called Wasted Days.
It's not not surprising that Rufus Wainwright would become a musician and singer. He is the son of singer-songwriters Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (of the McGarrigle sisters). He has just released his second album, Poses.
Host Madeleine Brand talks with Asian fusion singer, Sheila Chandra, about her latest CD This Sentence is True. Chandra experiments with the voice as an instrument and blends vocal traditions from American gospel and English folk, among other styles.