Studio Sessions Musicians 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.

Studio Sessions

Spoon. Autumn De Wilde hide caption

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Spoon On World Cafe

XPN

The band's latest album, Transference, features a little bit of twang to go with a lot of clean-sounding pop constructs. Hear Spoon perform songs from the new record on World Cafe.

Spoon On World Cafe

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Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent Ray Lego hide caption

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St. Vincent On World Cafe

XPN

Under the St. Vincent moniker, Annie Clark weaves together songs that are at once pristine and abrasive, demonstrating her prowess not only as a vocalist and guitar player, but also as a composer and arranger.

St. Vincent On World Cafe

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Garrick Ohlsson won the International Chopin Competition in 1970, and he's been playing the composer's music ever since. Philip Jones Griffiths hide caption

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Garrick Ohlsson: The Chopin Guy

WNYC Radio

In 1970, in Cold War-era Warsaw, an unknown American pianist named Garrick Ohlsson stunned the classical world by winning the International Chopin Competition. The composer's music has played a huge role in Ohlsson's career ever since. Hear him play Chopin in the WNYC studio.

Hear Garrick Ohlsson Play Chopin at WNYC

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Drummer. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Drummer: Keeping The Black Keys' Beat

XPN

Led by The Black Keys' drummer, Drummer pays homage to the soul of Northeastern Ohio on Feel Good Together. With jittery guitars, cool synths and reverb-laden vocals, the group has created a cathartic experience.

Drummer: Keeping The Black Keys' Beat

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Bomba Estereo performs at KEXP. Dave Lichterman/See More Photos hide caption

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Bomba Estereo: Cumbia That Hits Like A Wave

KEXP

At KEXP, there was no point in resisting Bomba Estereo's infectious groove. Colombian cumbia and champeta rhythms are at the root of the band's sound, while vocalist Liliana Saumet brings wild movement and color to the forefront in this session.

Hear And Download The Full Session From KEXP

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Fruit Bats: Sweetly Flavored Folk-Pop

XPN

Cheery melodies, colorful lyrics and acoustic arrangements have earned the folk-rock band favorable comparisons to Modest Mouse and The Shins. Led by guitarist, pianist and singer Eric Johnson, Fruit Bats' members have developed a reputation for forward-thinking music.

Fruit Bats: Sweetly Flavored Folk-Pop

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Marcus Roberts. David Corio/Redferns hide caption

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Marcus Roberts On Piano Jazz

Pianist Marcus Roberts draws on his strong improvisational skills and a deep respect for swing and ragtime influences to create his signature style. On this episode of Piano Jazz, he sits down with guest host Christian McBride for a discussion of Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and the future of jazz.

Marcus Roberts In Studio On Piano Jazz

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Midlake Bil Zelman hide caption

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Midlake: Intimate And Grandiose

XPN

The dark sounds of The Courage of Others didn't come to Midlake easily: The band spent a year writing and scrapping new material before it even began to work on the songs that would make up the new album. The result sounds isolated and withdrawn without devolving into desolation: A glimmer of optimism takes shape in the layered harmonies and intricately arranged guitars. Hear a World Cafe session.

Midlake: Intimate And Grandiose

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Kings of Convenience. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Kings Of Convenience: Honey-Dipped Fury

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Making eiderdown-plush folk-pop songs buoyed by sweet harmonies, the Norwegian duo takes a surprisingly bold political stance on its recent album Declaration of Dependence. As its members' voices met in perfect confluence at WFUV, accompanied only by acoustic guitar, those in Studio-A quickly went from casual fans to happy acolytes.

Kings Of Convenience In Studio On WFUV 9/9/09

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Grant Hart: Life After Husker Du

XPN

In 1979, Hart formed the post-hardcore punk band Husker Du with Bob Mould, and became an underground icon in the decade that followed. Shortly after the group split in 1987, Hart began a solo career, recording five solo albums between 1988 and '99 (plus two more as leader of Nova Mob). His newest record, Hot Wax, just arrived after a 10-year hiatus.

Grant Hart: Life After Husker Du

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Ellis Paul. Jack Looney hide caption

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Ellis Paul: Approachable And Charismatic

XPN

While performing in Boston's intimate coffeehouse circuit, Paul built a strong reputation while opening for John Gorka and eventually signing with a label. Paul quit his day job in 1992, ready to throw himself into his music career. Since then, Paul has won 14 Boston Music Awards, published a book, played thousands of shows and released 16 albums. His latest is titled The Day After Everything Changed.

Ellis Paul: Approachable And Charismatic

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The Greencards. David McClister hide caption

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The Greencards: The Pursuit Of Perfection

Folk Alley

When the continent-straddling bluegrass group launches into the Grammy-nominated "Crystal Merchant," a meticulously crafted studio session springs to life. Once the band plays, it's easy to forget the technique involved, because the music is so engaging. Here, the group pulls off a remarkable performance for Folk Alley.

Devendra Banhart (second from left). Photo courtesy of artist hide caption

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Devendra Banhart: Warm But Warped

XPN

Banhart's first album since 2007 (and first for a major label), What Will We Be stays true to the essence of the singer-songwriter's colorfully weird folk style. The disc's downtempo gentility is immediately apparent, but he still throws some wild dance-rock curveballs.

Devendra Banhart: Warm But Warped

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Rhiannon Giddens (from left), Justin Robinson and Dom Flemons of Carolina Chocolate Drops. Julie Roberts hide caption

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Carolina Chocolate Drops: Old-Time Music With A Twist

A traditional black string band with a modern twist, the group employs a range of traditional instruments: several banjos, a fiddle, a ceramic jug, bones and a kazoo, to name a few.

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Old-Time Music With A Twist

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Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. Marcelo Krasilcic hide caption

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The Magnetic Fields: 'Orch-Folk,' Played By Hand

Songwriter Stephin Merritt describes his band's new album, Realism, as a "Whitman's Sampler" a la Judy Collins. With bandmate and manager Claudia Gonson, he performs at NPR, and talks about creating a variety show of folk music.

The Magnetic Fields: 'Orch-Folk,' Played By Hand

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