My discovery of NPR tiny desk concerts


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What a joy when you discover something new that gets you so excited if gives you butterflies in your tummy. No, it is not bungee jumping or talking to hundreds of people that give you nerves, but simply a YouTube channel. NPR tiny desk concerts is the channel I am writing about. A series of small concerts of the channels favourite musicians that play around 3-4 songs in their office.

It is a small office and cramped it can get for sure. sometimes you see 20 musicians squashed together around a few desks and let’s not forget the instruments. The setting allows for some organic interaction between the staff and the musicians which are very unique. It is not scripted and some of the talks between the songs reveal some interesting facts about the songs and artists.
Also, what I found is that some of the artists you remember as pop artists are actually very good musicians and play a very different style a few years later. For example, T-pain plays and sings a very soulful style instead of the more hip-hop style I am used to. The beauty of these small concerts is that you get to know the artist’s style and you either enjoy what they are doing or absolutely love and admire their music and style. Of course, this is the intended setup and I have not discovered something new as the channel has over 1.2 million subscribers. However, for me it is new and I am sure many of my friends have never heard of it either so here you go… my recommendation for 2018 for you.

Here are 10 of my favourite video’s in no particular order and as of January 2018 – no doubt by February this will be very different.

  1. Christian Scott who is a young and very talented trumpet player.
  2. Reggie Watts sampling and mixing his own voice which turns into something pretty cool. Listen to his Dutch translation… ahum
  3. D.R.A.M doing his ‘Sh**’ very catchy and great groove!
  4. Lianne LaHavas – I mean, just listen to her voice… amazing and very talented.
  5. Recorded 7 years ago and probably one of the older recordings, but she is one of my favourite artists so no top 10 would be complete without her talent
  6. These ladies from New Orleans have infected me with their joy. Their style is very current with influences of Jazz, Rap, Soul, and conversations on the street.
  7. Wyclef Jean and his niece Jazz are great, but his bass player has such a positive vibe with his smile that he makes me smile too. Unedited version with some interesting anecdotes from Wyclef
  8. Gucci Mane – shows that acoustic piano has a new place in electronic music and hip-hop. This one is for my son as he is learning to play and he is loving Gansta Rap with his friends at the moment.
  9. Back to hardcore Jazz with ‘No BS! Brass band’… Trumpets are very cool!
  10. The next one is to prove that an actual 23 band members fitted in the tiny office. Great the way they rise up when it is the musicians turn to play their instrument.

Enjoy the many more tiny desk concerts here>

 

Family, Music


Ronald Gijsel

WordPress user, community contributor and more. Father of two boys and a Dutch husband to a Turkish wife. Ex Italian restaurant owner in Evesham. A good mix of cultures, languages, cuisines and points of view.

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