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.
For the third night of the festival, we have Vox Sambou's energetic Hatian funk from Montreal, Carnatic Indian music from Aditya Prakash Ensemble, a blend of old and new with Italian singer-songwriter Rachele Andrioli, and an expansion and exploration of American Roots music from globalFEST alum Martha Redbone.
Below you'll find short descriptions about each act, written by the globalFEST team.
There are few performers as "alive" as Vox Sambou, whose energy and soul transcends the virtual space. He starts his performance at Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST with a short moment between himself and his son, overseen by a painting of his mother, highlighting the ways we pass down traditions from generation to generation. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Vox Sambou writes and performs in Hatian-Creole, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese. His music is a joyous fusion of Haitian funk, reggae and hip-hop.
Performing from their home base in Los Angeles, Aditya Prakash Ensemble highlights songs borne from South India's Carnatic tradition. Prakash uses his voice as an instrument to tell powerful, emotive stories — which he reimagines in a fresh, dynamic way. Aditya Prakash Ensemble's modern take on traditional music mixes in jazz and hip-hop and features a diverse L.A. ensemble.
Recording from southern Italy, Rachele Andrioli's performance highlights her mix of old and new, of traditional music and modern technology. Her trance vocals and loop pedals create a sound all her own, mixing music from Italian, Indian, Lebanese, Albanian and Romani cultures and traditions.
Martha Redbone performs her Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST performance from her home studio in Brooklyn's Navy Yards. Native and African-American singer-songwriter Martha Redbone is known for her mix of folk, blues and gospel from her childhood in Harlan County, Ky., which she infuses with the eclectic grit of pre-gentrified Brooklyn. Inheriting the powerful vocal range of her gospel-singing African-American father and the resilient spirit of her mother's Cherokee, Shawnee and Choctaw culture, Redbone broadens the boundaries of American Roots music.
TINY DESK TEAM
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