Oliver Mtukudzi, or "Tuku" as his fans lovingly call him, plays spirited music, born from the soul of Zimbabwe. He's been recording since the late 1970s, with about as many albums as his age: 60. Here, Mtukudzi performs songs from the mournful but celebratory Sarawoga in the NPR Music offices.
Hem makes a homey, fireside kind of music, with songs that feel as if they've always been there. The arrangements by Dan Messé make Hem's songs feel quaint and warm, while singer Sally Ellyson is an untrained natural talent with an effortless yet breathtaking voice.
The husband-and-wife duo mixes rowdy folk-rock and rootsy ballads, with the help of a canine friend. Watch Shovels & Rope perform a pair of songs from 2012's O' Be Joyful, as well as the older "Bad Luck," live in the NPR Music offices.
Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. A man with a powerful interest in both the past and the future, Arturo O'Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA.
The 1975 knows its way around bigness. But, when asked to strip his band's sound down to fit the intimate confines of the Tiny Desk, singer Matthew Healy doesn't hesitate to transform both his songs and himself.
For our 300th Tiny Desk Concert, we showcase Omara "Bombino" Moctar, a Tuareg guitarist from Niger whose fierce, hypnotic and alluring jams can be traced back to a youthful appreciation of Jimi Hendrix.
Gunn's music stems from a bushy, overgrown definition of what we often call "Americana." But mostly, his hypnotic long-form jams are perfect for taking it easy. Watch Gunn's trio perform a mesmerizing set at the NPR Music offices.
Concha Buika's voice doesn't come from inside her petite body: It comes from Africa, and from the past. There are obvious traces of flamenco, itself a historical mash-up of the Moors and various transitory cultures in southern Spain and north Africa. Watch Buika perform in the NPR Music offices.
The community that's formed around The Front Bottoms' songs — as total strangers purge deep emotions in a public space — is a beautiful phenomenon, as well as a testament to the passion and compassion the band radiates.
The Australian sextet crafts busily impeccable pop music with a danceable sway, prominent synths and the charming shared lead vocals of Phoebe Baker and Lou James. But the band does a tremendous job translating its sound to the spare confines of the NPR Music offices.
Guthrie and his band drove 18 hours round-trip from Ontario just to perform three songs behind the desk of NPR Music's Bob Boilen. Watch them perform some of the wistful and infectious highlights from Guthrie's new album, Takes Time.
Henson's voice is so fragile and hushed, if you were 10 feet away from him you'd barely hear a peep. But what the London singer's music lacks in volume, it more than makes up for in feeling. Watch Henson perform three songs from his new album, Birthdays.