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.
The singer-songwriter has a repertoire that ranges from soft ballads to tough rock songs to political anthems. A remarkable, empathetic songwriter, McMurtry has released seven enormously acclaimed albums in his nearly 20-year career.
Veteran guitarist Ralph Towner has a unique style of playing, and his compositions are inspired by a wide array of influences, from Bach to Brazil and jazz. Towner plays an original piece, "Anniversary Song," followed by his own arrangement of George Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now."
Blending together an array of musical styles and influences, singer/guitarist Ben Harper has carved out an unusual and exciting 12-year career. Accompanied by his backing band The Innocent Criminals, Harper skillfully combines acoustic folk, blues, funk, soul and hard rock.
Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint have come together to write and record a warm, hopeful new album. The two chose to make The River in Reverse in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans as a gesture of hope. Most of the album's 13 tracks were recorded as free-flowing jam sessions.
With a musical career that spans nearly half a century, Stephen Stills can be counted among rock's most enduring and vital icons. Stills possesses a highly melodic vocal and guitar style that has endeared him to millions of folk, rock and pop fans around the world.
Bonnie Raitt stops by NPR's Washington studios for a live performance. She plays songs from Souls Alike, her 18th album, and chats with callers about music, her career, and the interplay between work as an artist and her social activism.
The band uses tap-dancing in place of drumming, but it's the Omaha natives' infectious blend of girl-group vocal harmonies, brash rock and tightly constructed pop that makes it far more than the sum of its gimmicks.
Tilly and the Wall in Studio on World Cafe - 07/06/2006
Drawing from their training in the classics, jazz, pop and funk, the four members of Animal Liberation Orchestra strive to make creative, upbeat, ever-evolving music. Their feel-good California vibe and their quirky, engaging live shows have made ALO a rising star in jam-band circles.
Animal Liberation Orchestra in Studio on World Cafe - 07/05/2006
Gabriela Montero combines classical piano playing with improvisation. She stops by the NPR studios to share some of her music, including improvisations on Rachmaninoff's Moment Musicaux Op. 16, No. 4 and Bach's Toccata in D Minor.
Pianist Kevin Li, 10, performs Chopin's Nocturne, Op. 55, No. 1. He named his piano "Susan" in honor of his first piano teacher, who is very special to him. "I've studied with her for the past five years, but she arranged for me to switch teachers recently," he explains. "She says it's important for me to learn a new style."
Saxophonist Walter Nichols, 15, joins Christopher O'Riley for a performance of Jacques Iberts' Concertino de Camera. Nichols started playing saxophone in the fifth grade and took to it almost immediately. "It didn't take much effort for me to become good at it, and I liked playing music," he says.
Cellist Molly Goforth, 17, performs George Crumb's Cello Sonata, 1st and 3rd mvts. Goforth started playing cello in the fourth grade. "I started out through a string recruitment program in Birmingham called the Music Opportunity Program," she explains. "It's a recruitment program sponsored by the Alabama School of Fine Arts." She got a lot from the program, and now attends the Alabama School of Fine Arts.