Without her backing band, the expressive, powerful singer previews songs from her new album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness. Watch her and you'll see calm in her eyes; listen to her and you'll sense torment in her heart.
The pianist builds R&B with old-school values: singers who don't need software, live improvising, hand-built beats. They're jazz aesthetics, essentially — readily evident when members of his Grammy-winning Experiment band jam with singer Marsha Ambrosius.
Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz aren't the youngest musicians ever to play the Tiny Desk, but they come pretty close. Their music — a restrained, homespun mix of folk and pop with undeniably sweet harmonies — certainly ranks among the loveliest to grace the NPR Music offices.
La Santa Cecilia spreads joy every time its members plug in to do a show. They do it one dance step at a time, with cumbias, corridos, elegant mambos and plain old rock 'n' roll. The video here provides just a hint of the band's dynamic live shows, albeit a spectacular one.
Her voice feels old, but it's got power that's young and vibrant. In fact, Christine Salem sings songs that are old: They're work songs and chants from the maloya tradition on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
The rapper, singer, poet and songwriter performs three tracks from this year's Parts of Speech with the aid of a full band. With backing vocals from Aby Wolf, Dessa overcame a bad cold to nail this forceful, whip-smart set.
The recently reunited band's funky, fleshed-out sound wouldn't seem to lend itself to vastly stripped-down arrangements. But The Dismemberment Plan exudes playfulness and wry charm throughout these three songs from this year's Uncanney Valley.
The songs Waxahatchee brought to the NPR Music offices aren't just stripped down for this Tiny Desk Concert. This is Katie Crutchfield as Waxahatchee, spare and exposed; this is what she does. This is intimate music, perfectly suited for an intimate setting.
The soul singer retains the easygoing grace of a performer fit for any stage — even a tiny one. Here, Legend performs two songs from his album Love in the Future, as well as "Move," one of his contributions to the 12 Years a Slave soundtrack.
The creator of the Hindustani slide guitar draws on a good deal of North Indian classical music, but you can also hear the blues pouring out of his stunning work. Here, Bhattacharya performs with his brother and daughter.