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By way of Las Vegas and Sacramento, The Lique were the highlighted entry in the recent NPR Tiny Desk Contest.

Frontman Rasar had been accustomed to rapping over beats producers sent him, while the four musicians—all recent or future graduates of the UNLV jazz program—either used written charts or improvised when in the studio with their student ensembles.

“Recording and playing jazz is much different than making a hip-hop album,” Klewicki says. Now in the mixing phase, the album is due out in the spring, and after the usual release party, the aspiring “hip-hop Rat Pack” wants to get out of town—not relocate, but embark on its first tour. “We want to get as far from Vegas as possible,” Klewicki says. “We appreciate the support here, but we want to get our music to as many people as possible.”

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