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.
Guitarist and singer Marty Grosz and cornet player Randy Reinhart join us for a special in-studio performance in honor of the 100th birthday of Thomas "Fats" Waller. He would have been 100 on May 21. Grosz and Reinhart will perform songs composed by the great pianist and vocalist. Waller wrote many hit songs, appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s, and wrote Broadway musicals. Some of his best-loved songs include "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose" and "The Joint is Jumpin'." There's a new CD/DVD set called Fats Waller: The Centennial Collection on Bluebird Records.
Blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite has played with some of the biggest legends of the genre, at a crucial time in the history of the blues. Now young lions such as Ben Harper are contributing to his latest CD, Sanctuary. Hear live tracks of songs the two musicians recorded at NPR West, and hear an extended version of the interview.
After 18 years as a quartet, the vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 is retiring. Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Jacqueline Horner and Johanna Marie Rose are currently performing their last concerts and making their last recordings. And before they go their separate ways, they're spending an hour with PT to sing music from their newest CD, American Angels. In this first set of songs, "The Morning Trumpet," followed by two versions of "Amazing Grace" — a quiet version and a livelier "camp revival" version — and "Sweet Hour of Prayer."
NPR's Liane Hansen chats with singer and songwriter Vienna Teng, who performs songs from her second CD, Warm Strangers. Since their first conversation in 2002 about her debut CD, Teng has toured the country, enjoying a bit of fame and recognition for her talent. She has no regrets about leaving her computer engineering job to pursue music.
Perennial Jazz Fest Performers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform live in NPR's Studio 4A. New Orleans' tiny Preservation Hall has presented traditional jazz for more than 40 years. The hall is more famous than the musicians who play there, but the Preservation Hall Jazz Band continues to attract music lovers at home and to its concerts around the world.
The women of Anonymous 4 — Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Jaqueline Horner and Johanna Maria Rose — join NPR's Fred Child in Studio 4A to perform a selection of holiday music. The ensemble, together for 17 years, is accompanied on several tracks by harpist Andrew Lawrence King.
Singer-songwriter Richard Thompson has earned a rabid cult following, and his albums are a staple of rock critic "must have" lists. He joins NPR's Liane Hansen in NPR's Studio 4A to perform solo guitar renditions of some unlikely tunes.
The mbira, or Zimbabwean thumb piano, is a revered ceremonial instrument from Southern Africa. As played by Stella Chiweshe, the mbira's often haunting sound has recently been embraced by world music enthusiasts. Chiweshe performs songs from her new CD and talks about the deeply spiritual and political sources of her inspiration.
Hot Club of Cowtown's five albums revive Western swing, a musical style made famous more than half a century ago by groups such as Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Group members stop by NPR's Studio 4B for a performance chat with NPR's John Ydstie.
Songwriter Vic Chesnutt has often been called gifted, but in the past, his introspective, idiosyncratic music has been deemed too gloomy for the masses. On his latest CD, Silver Lake, Chesnutt's songs take an upbeat turn, though his homey narrative style and gallows humor remain. Listen to songs from Silver Lake, and watch Chesnutt's performance in NPR's studio 4A.
Singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke is something of an underground sensation, with an adoring fan base built largely on word of mouth and extensive touring with her band. Hear five full-length cuts from her recent performance in NPR's Studio 4A, and view a video of Brooke and her band performing the title track to her latest CD, Steady Pull.
The Jayhawks were at the forefront of the modern "alt-country" sound. There first album, 1991's Hollywood Town Hall, is a favorite of music critics and a devoted fan base. Now the Jayhawks have a new album and a new passion for spreading the word. Hear full-length cuts from their live performance in NPR's Studio 4A.