Audio Only: Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile And Stuart Duncan's Tiny Desk Concert
Yo-Yo Ma calls himself a "venture culturalist," and he's got the proof to back it up. He's reached out to a broad range of musicians (and Muppets) to play not just Bach and Beethoven, but also Brazilian samba, Argentine tango, jazz, songs from Sesame Street and a smorgasbord of Asian music with his Silk Road Ensemble.
Upon hearing Lisa Hannigan sing for the first time, her warm voice can sound at once familiar and inviting. The Mercury Prize-nominated artist is often acknowledged for her six-year collaboration with Damien Rice — especially on his album O — and for her solo debut, Sea Sew.
They were four guys out of Athens, Ga., with a three-letter name — and one hell of an impact on rock. R.E.M. was Michael Stipe singing lead, Mike Mills on bass and harmonies, Peter Buck on guitar and Bill Berry on drums, until Berry left the band in 1997.
"We never expected the thing to last any longer than a couple of years to begin with," Stipe says. "And then when it did, and we were making records and people were interested in it, the band started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."
Washed Out is the moniker of 28-year-old Ernest Greene, who recorded his first tracks on a laptop in his parents' Georgia home. Now, he's a wonder of the "chillwave" movement and the man behind some of the year's most alluring electronic sounds. Washed Out's debut album, Within and Without, builds a textured pop soundscape atop pulsing dance beats.
Mexican singer-songwriter Ximena Sariñana first flexed her creative muscles in a role on the telenovela Luz Clarita, until she discovered her passion for music by composing scores for her father, a film director. Now, with two critically acclaimed albums under her belt, Sariñana is a household name in her home country, as well as a burgeoning international star.