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

Ruthie Foster: A Soulful 'Truth'

KUT 90.5

Foster starts out her KUT session by reaching back to her roots with a Sister Rosetta Tharpe song. It sets the mood for a soulful performance and conversation with the modern blues singer and guitarist, who looks beyond the folk tradition for which she's become known.

Ruthie Foster in Studio on KUT 1/26/09

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John Mellencamp, The Modern Mortal

Fresh Air

Long a standout purveyor of rootsy, direct "heartland" rock, Mellencamp is in the midst of a folksy, pessimistic streak on his new album. He speaks to host Terry Gross about the spare sound and dark themes of Life, Death, Love and Freedom.

John Mellencamp, The Modern Mortal

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Andrew Bird: Poetry Of Beauty And Biology

XPN

Wielding many instruments and a remarkable whistling ability, Bird has developed an offbeat marriage of classical and pop music over the course of his decade-long career. Describing his new album, Noble Beast, as a less electric effort, Bird still finds value in carefully chosen words.

Andrew Bird: Poetry Of Beauty And Biology

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Courtesy of the artist

Chris Ziemba On Piano Jazz

Buffalo native Christopher Ziemba is a young pianist and composer, currently honing his craft at the Eastman School of Music. He took the stage at age 7, and he's already performed at Carnegie Hall. Ziemba makes his Piano Jazz debut here, performing "Dream Dancing" and "The Nearness of You."

Chris Ziemba On Piano Jazz

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Antony And The Johnsons: Dark Cabaret

XPN

The power of Antony Hegarty's The Crying Light finds the minimalist bluesman exploring humanity's relationship to the world through melodramatic chamber-pop songs.

Antony & The Johnsons in Studio on World Cafe 3/26/09

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Auryn Quartet: Heavyweights In Boston

WGBH Radio

Haydn invented the string quartet. Then Beethoven boldly pushed it to brand-new places. Hear the Auryn Quartet play music by both composers at the WGBH radio studios.

Auryn Quartet: Heavyweights In Boston

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Video: Grandaddy's Jason Lytle At SXSW

Through the '90s, until the group disbanded in 2006, Grandaddy built a loyal audience by making beautifully orchestrated, neo-psychedelic space-pop. Former frontman Jason Lytle returns this year with his debut solo album, Yours Truly, The Commuter. He showcased some of his new songs for this NPR Music video session.

Annuals: Growing Up Can Be 'Such Fun'

XPN

The energetic indie-pop band's members were only 20 when their debut, Be He Me, was released in 2006. For their sophomore album, songwriter Adam Baker has discovered new depth, borrowing from ska, psychedelia and country on the colorful and appropriately named Such Fun.

Annuals in Studio on World Cafe 3/25/09

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John Pizzarelli: Rodgers, Hart And The Gershwins, Too

KNKX Public Radio

Many say the Great American Songbook is coming back, but Pizzarelli says it never went away. Right off the bat, he scatted along to his lightning-fast guitar work on "I Got Rhythm," the popular Gershwin tune, in a session from Jazz24.

John Pizzarelli in Studio at KPLU 2/25/09

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Howe Gelb: Exploring The Desert

XPN

For more than 20 years, Gelb has experimented with a combination of Southwestern roots music and lo-fi country as the only constant of the band Giant Sand. proVISIONS is its latest.

Howe Gelb in Studio on World Cafe 3/24/09

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The Blind Boys Of Alabama: Gospel Pioneers

XPN

Over the course of 70 years, more than 60 albums and four Grammys, The Blind Boys of Alabama's members become synonymous with gospel soul. The innovation never ends, however, as they infuse their new album, Down in New Orleans, with Dixieland jazz, funk and R&B.

The Blind Boys of Alabama in Studio on World Cafe 2/27/09

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Unorthodox Americana, Via Traditional Norway

With an exotic fiddle, a viola, a classical guitar and a drum kit, the quartet called QQQ creates something like Appalachian folk music — albeit filtered through Brooklyn experimentalism and rural Norwegian flavor. The band plays a special session in Studio 4A.

Unorthodox Americana, Via Traditional Norway

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John Wesley Harding: Man Of Many Callings

XPN

For the folk-pop songwriter who borrows his stage name from the 1967 Bob Dylan album, cleverly pointed lyrics and biting humor come as no surprise. As sharp as ever after a five-year hiatus, Harding has released Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, the result of a new found musical freedom.

John Wesley Harding in Studio on World Cafe 3/18/09

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DeVotchKa: Songs For A Flying Circus

XPN

Once a backing band for burlesque shows, DeVotchKa is known for its soundtrack to Little Miss Sunshine. With raucous music that combines Slavic, Russian and Gypsy roots with American punk and folk, the group's four members pick up at least a dozen instruments on their new record, A Mad and Faithful Telling.

DeVotchKa: Songs For A Flying Circus

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