The Tiny Desk is teaming up with globalFEST this year for a thrilling virtual music festival: Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST. The online fest includes four nights of concerts featuring 16 bands from all over the world. From Monday, Jan. 11, through Thursday, Jan. 14, we'll be streaming new performances at 8 p.m. ET on NPR Music's YouTube channel and NPR.org.
Every January, I attend globalFEST at a New York City nightclub and see some of the most fantastic music I'll experience all year. Now, given the pandemic's challenges and the hardening of international borders, NPR Music and globalFEST is moving from the nightclub to your screen of choice and sharing this festival with the world. Each night, we'll present four artists in intimate settings (often behind desks donning globes), and it's all hosted by African superstar Angélique Kidjo, who performed at the inaugural edition of globalFEST in 2004.
On Tuesday night, we have Minyo Crusaders' new spin on Japanese folk music, Peruvian cumbia music from Hit La Rosa, Natu Camara's combination of West African soul, rock and pop music, and Tunisian singer and activist (and globalFEST Alum) Emel.
Below you'll find short descriptions about each act, written by the globalFEST team.
Min'yō folk music was originally sung by Japanese fishermen, coal miners and sumo wrestlers hundreds of years ago, and the Minyo Crusaders are on a mission to make these songs relevant to an international audience. For their performance, the Crusaders found a unique take for their desk: a "kotatsu," which is a heated Japanese table traditionally used for gathering in the winter months.
- "Hohai Bushi"
- "Yasugi Bushi"
- "Aizu Bandaisan"
HIT LA ROSA
From the candle-lit home of their lead singer, Hit La Rosa comes in hot and doesn't stop until the final measure. The band explores the many facets of Peruvian cumbia music, infusing it with pop music, folklore, jazz and dancehall to produce its distinctive grooves and hooks. The band's precise-yet-dreamlike music and punk sensibility all come together to make music that explores life's shadowy sides. Despite living through a political crisis in Peru, the band brings a message of hope and joy in the midst of struggle and upheaval.
- "La Montañita"
- "La Marea"
From a studio space in Brooklyn, Guinean native Natu Camara mixes West African soul, rock and pop music. As a builder of inter-cultural bridges, Camara uses her songs to bring people together, weaving a tapestry of musical stories and visions of her beloved home.
- "Ka Hirdé" - Intro
- "Arabama di"
Tunisia-born singer Emel first performed at globalFEST in 2015, the same year she performed her song of Tunisian Revolution, "Kelmti Horra," at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. Emel was hailed by NPR as a "21st century catalyst for change." She created her latest album, The Tunis Diaries, equipped with only a laptop, tape recorder and a crowdsourced guitar after she was unexpectedly quarantined in her childhood home in Tunis last spring.
- "Everywhere We Looked Was Burning"
Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST
TINY DESK TEAM
- Producer: Bob Boilen
- Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
- Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
- Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame
- Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
- Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
- Co-Directors: Shanta Thake, Isabel Soffer, and Bill Bragin
- 2021 Curators: Shanta Thake, Isabel Soffer, Bill Bragin, and Viviana Benitez
- Event Producer: Ian Thake
- Host: Angélique Kidjo
- Social Media Manager: Valerie French
- Publicity: Brendan Gilmartin, Chart Room Media
- Legal Services: Tamizdat
- Legal Services: Duane Morris
- Producer: THE OFFICE performing arts + film
- Video Production: MODEMA Studios
THE OFFICE performing arts + film consists of Diane Eber, Rachel Chanoff, Laurie Cearley, Olli Chanoff, Erica Zielinski, Gabrielle Davenport, Catherine DeGennaro, Noah Bashevkin, Lynn Koek, Bruna D'Avila, Chloe Golding, Kyla Gardner, Zion Jackson, Tess Peppis, Scout Eisenberg
MODEMA Studios consists of Jammal Lemy (director and editor), Matt Deitsch (producer), Theo Braun (audio), and Gary Blake (editor)
Special Thanks: Joshua Feigenbaum, Mona Golub, Steven Kirkpatrick, Daniel C. Smith, Ken Umezaki
globalFEST 2021 funders include The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Québec Government Office in New York