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.
With musical influences stemming from Africa, France, Spain and other countries, Brazzaville is the brainchild of David Brown, best known as the saxophonist for Beck. His band plays music from its new CD, 21st Century Girl, in a session from WXPN.
Sometimes the best moment of an in-studio performance is the soundcheck. To warm up, Calexico riffed on a Pavement cover for 15 spooky minutes before offering up two very different versions of songs from the Tucson band's new album, Carried to Dust.
The Ting Tings' debut album, We Started Nothing, has propelled the British duo to worldwide fame on the strength of some of the catchiest pop songs in recent memory. The British duo layers together synths, powerful drum beats and catchy melodies in a session from WXPN.
Chick Corea has been a major force in music for nearly 40 years. His inventive improvisations and musical ideas have made him one of the most important figures in modern jazz. On this 1987 program, recorded at Corea's Madhatter studio, Marian McPartland plays the Fender Rhodes and Corea plays his KX5 synthesizer in "Crystal Silence."
Disrupted by a serious bout of pneumonia, Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce had to wait almost two years to put to disc a collection of songs he'd written in just two weeks. Songs in A&E's intense and emotional songs of survival and near-death experiences are captured here, in a session from WXPN.
This week, From the Top is in Berkeley, California, where a 12-year-old pianist joyfully wraps her brain and fingers around a Bach fugue, a hockey-playing bassoonist performs Weber and a teen quartet offers up a new work by a local 17-year-old.
By 15, Scottish singer-songwriter Amy MacDonald was performing in pubs and open mics in Ireland. Now 21, her album This Is the Life just came out in the U.S. after topping the U.K. charts on the strength of its rich and sometimes dark lyrics.
Calling Stephin Merritt a reluctant performer is putting it lightly. Nevertheless, the Magnetic Fields leader bellied up to a microphone by himself in a KEXP session. Here, he surveys his expansive catalog and answers questions in the deadpan style that makes his songs so great.
British pop icon Paul Weller has described his new double-disc album, 22 Dreams, as "a year in my life." It tracks Weller's course through the changing seasons. The former frontman of The Jam performs his kaleidoscopic pop music in a session on World Cafe.
Composer Henry Mancini penned some of the most memorable tunes of the modern era, including the Pink Panther theme. On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1985, Mancini talks about his muse (the movie screen) and performs several favorites, including "Days of Wine and Roses."
Panic at the Disco's new album, Pretty. Odd, experiments with psychedelic pop, vaudeville and new instrumentation, while retaining the infectiousness of the band's debut. In a session with host David Dye, Panic at the Disco plays some of its new material.
Panic at the Disco in Studio on World Cafe 9/19/08
Joseph Arthur is a versatile and prolific rocker. In addition to playing music, his humanitarian efforts have helped bring art, music and more to children in Northern Uganda refugee camps. For all his sterling credentials, Arthur remains easygoing and casual in this session on WFUV.
Based in San Diego, Delta Spirit has made its musical home somewhere between indie-rock and alt-country, with a foundation built on battle-cry vocals and unconventional instrumentation, even including trash-can lids. The band performs from its debut CD in a session on WXPN.
O'Riley enjoys his Bach and Beethoven, but he's also a serious fan of pop music and jazz: He's recorded piano arrangements of songs by Radiohead and Nick Drake. O'Riley's latest passion is the adventurous jazz trio The Bad Plus.
This week, talented teen voices ring out in the home of Houston Grand Opera. From the Wortham Theater Center, a 17-year-old soprano sings Copland, three Texan "spirits" sing a scene from Mozart's Magic Flute. And, for the grand finale, all the young musicians join to perform music from Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel. This program originally aired on April 30, 2008.