In a small, packed Washington, D.C., living room late one December night, I heard a cacophony of horns, keys, drums and guitars that simply floored me. It was brash, zany, brainy, scary and danceable. At the end of a long year of amazing live music, this would turn out to be one of the most memorable concerts I'd seen.
You don't really listen to an Omar Sosa concert so much as experience it. The Cuban-born pianist's overall demeanor exudes a sense of calm and deep reflection, while a spiritual connection to music and his ancestors comes through in his piano playing.
It's not often that someone on the NPR Music team gets to see his or her favorite band perform a Tiny Desk Concert. After all, you can only have one favorite band, and NPR Music supports a staff of about 20; that means that, of the 250-plus Tiny Desk Concerts we've produced, fewer than 10 percent could possibly have qualified for favorite-band status.