For musicians performing behind Bob Boilen's desk at the NPR Music offices, there's often an inverse relationship between professional accomplishment and the amount of time required to set up. For new bands still finding their way, pre-show preparation can be a numbing chore of positioning effects pedals and rehearsing song after song before the cameras start rolling.
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.
When Irish singer Lisa Hannigan came to the NPR Music offices a few weeks ago, she not only brought along with her one of the most gorgeous voices we've heard; she was also one of the warmest guests we've welcomed.
Prior to kicking off her solo career, Hannigan made her name performing alongside Damien Rice. She just released her second album, the lush and beautiful Passenger.