Tank And The Bangas: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Bob Boilen | March 10, 2017 — Out of over 6,000 entries — more submissions than we've ever received — Tank And The Bangas won, unanimously, this year's Tiny Desk Contest. I fully expected their victory performance here at NPR headquarters in D.C. to be celebratory. I didn't know we'd all end up in tears. This band combines R&B with hip-hop's poetry and rollercoaster storytelling, with a flair and alchemy that could only come from New Orleans. Their winning song, "Quick," mixes liquor and revenge — a sort of modern day take on a great folk tale, but peppered with their own idiosyncratic flair and humor. What I couldn't see, until they took over my desk, was the depth of their lyricism and the versatility of their players. At one moment fun-filled funk, the next laid-back jazz, rhythm-driven blues — and it all flows seamlessly. And it's fun to watch: There's a magic kinship between Tarriona "Tank" Ball and Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph as they share singing roles, like two best friends finishing one another's sentences. This is the third year that NPR Music has put out a call in hopes of finding a shining star. I'm still amazed how, after sifting through thousands of videos from abundantly talented musicians, we can find a common winner amongst a range of judges with such different musical backgrounds. But in the end, my All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Miguel, Anthony Hamilton, Ben Hopkins (PWR BTTM), BANKS, and folks who listen to an awful lot of music — NPR member station hosts Rita Houston (WFUV), Talia Schlanger (WXPN), Stas THEE Boss (KEXP) — and myself were all equally charmed, delighted and captivated. And so here it is, a chance to see an artist truly blossoming. It's just the beginning: A few years ago, for our first Contest, Fantastic Negrito won our hearts. This year he won a Grammy. Last year Gaelynn Lea, an unknown violinist, teacher and singer sent a video captured on a phone and won our affection and souls. A few weeks ago, her Tiny Desk Concert had been seen more than a million times. These days she's taken to the road, touring the world. Tank And The Bangas will be hitting the road in April with NPR Music to find their new audience — I'll be along for the ride — visiting many of our member stations with help from those music-loving beer brewers at Lagunitas. I can't wait to see the reaction in these crowds' eyes, as they fill with wonder and tears like ours did, experiencing this band for the first time. Set List "Boxes And Squares" "Quick" "Rollercoasters" Musicians Tarriona Tank Ball (vocals); Jelly Joseph (vocals); Merell Burkett Jr. (keys); Norman Spence II (keys); Joshua Johnson (drums); Jonathan Johnson (bass); Albert Allenback (saxophone) Credits Producers: Bob Boilen, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nick Michael, Bronson Arcuri, Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistants: A Noah Harrison, Ameeta Ganatra; Photo: Niki Walker/NPR. For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast: http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510292/tiny-desk-concerts-video
Koffee: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Watch Koffee play "Raggamuffin", "Rapture", "Toast" and "W" at the Tiny Desk. Watch Tiny Desk Concerts ONE WEEK before they go on YouTube at https://www.npr.org/tinydesk Follow NPR Music: Twitter: https://twitter.com/nprmusic Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nprmusic Jan. 27, 2020 | Sidney Madden -- "It's been a fairly short musical journey and we have seen fairly much success," Koffee told the NPR Music offices between songs during her Tiny Desk set. Flashing her braces with each grin, Jamaica's 19-year old tour de force wasn't exaggerating. Her debut EP, Rapture, just won a 2020 Grammy for Best Reggae Album, making her the first woman and the youngest artist to ever win in the category. It comes just two years after her tribute song to sprinter, eight-time Gold Medalist and fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt went viral online. Koffee has sustained a steady upwards momentum since then, finding her footing on festival stages and collaborating with others outside her genre. (Her latest single, "W" features Atlanta rapper, Gunna.) Above all, what makes Koffee so refreshing is that she centers her music around faith, resilience and gratitude. She has a new perspective to add to the pantheon of mostly male reggae greats and it's resonating with a new generation that's just getting hip to the iconic sounds. As her Tiny Desk performance shows, Koffee makes the best of her surroundings, channeling the day's buzzy energy into a balancing act of youthful heart and old-pro precision, proving why she has become one of the most invigorating voices in reggae. "I want to thank everybody who's been involved," Koffee told the crowd halfway during her show. "You have now become a part of my journey." SET LIST "Raggamuffin" "Rapture" "Toast" "W" MUSICIANS Koffee: vocals; Stephen Asamoah-Duah: drums; Stephen Forbes: percussion; Nana Pokes: bass; David Melodee: keys; Thomas Broussard: guitar; Zhayna France: vocals; Shanice Drysdale: vocals CREDITS Producers: Abby O'Neill, Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineer: Josh Rogosin; Editor: Maia Stern; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Jack Corbett, Kara Frame, CJ Riculan; Associate producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Laura Beltran Villamizar
The Roots feat. Bilal: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Watch The Roots feat. Bilal play at the Tiny Desk. Did you know you can watch new Tiny Desk Concerts on npr.org ONE WEEK before they go up on YouTube? Click here: https://www.npr.org/tinydesk Follow NPR Music: Twitter: https://twitter.com/nprmusic Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nprmusic Oct. 30, 2017 | Abby O'Neill -- Can you believe it? Yes, those are The Roots packed behind the Tiny Desk. Black Thought, Questlove and the crew carved out a few hours in their hectic Tonight Show schedule to visit NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. Why travel four hours for a 12-minute concert when you own the late-night airwaves? The answer can be found in the lyrics to The Roots' new song, "It Ain't Fair." Armed with the incredible vocalist Bilal, The Roots performed the signature track from Detroit, a film about the race riots in 1967. "It Ain't Fair" glares unflinchingly, takes a knee and raises a fist against the societal construct that has systematically denied equality of experience to those "presumed inferior," to quote one of Bilal's verses. And it achieves all this while covering its heart with its right hand. This reflective hymn tenderly yanks your heart strings and offers a window into the ethos of those who would like to stand for the flag but cannot in good principle, lest these same evils continue to exist. Those lucky enough to be in the Tiny Desk audience witnessed masters at work. Black Thought is truly one of the most intelligent emcees ever, and his razor-sharp lyricism was on full display. Questlove, a musical and cultural historian nonpareil, was both a metronomical and moral anchor. It felt like the culmination of decades of academic rigor and boom-bap sessions, fittingly backed by a seven-piece horn section. Bilal's falsetto-laced vocals and warm resonance evoked powerful messaging reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield's "Don't Worry," delivered with the eccentricity of Prince. Late last year, Common premiered "Letter to the Free" at the Tiny Desk and later won an Emmy for the song. It wouldn't surprise me if "It Ain't Fair" becomes another award-winning performance when the Oscars roll around early next year. This is a song that deserves to be heard in the millions of households that watch The Roots every night. Set List "It Ain't Fair" MUSICIANS Curtis L. Jones Jr (Trombone), Arnetta Johnson (Trumpet), Hiruy E. Tirfe (Sax), Richard L. Tate II (Sax), Joseph Streater (Trumpet), Norman J. Bradshaw (Trombone), Damon Bryson (Sousaphone), Ahmir (Questlove) Thompson (Drums), Tarik (Black Thought) Trotter (Emcee), Bilal Oliver (Vocals) CREDITS Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Kara Frame, Alyse Young; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.