May 14, 2013 — In the arts mecca of New York City, subway buskers are often overqualified. But they're not usually world-class jazz singers with the lungs and charisma of old-school soul stars. Accompanied only by a pianist, Porter performs "Be Good (Lion's Song)" on a vintage subway car in downtown Brooklyn.
May 9, 2013 — Sitting poolside on a picnic table under the blazing California sun, the band performs its bittersweet single "High School Lover" with only an acoustic guitar and light percussion for accompaniment. The result is pure sunshine — a perfect soundtrack to the shimmery leisure that surrounds the band on all sides.
Mar 27, 2012 — While this stripped-down version of Dry the River's "Bible Belt" eases back on the loudness of the original, the band never skimps on power. Watch a stirring performance with swelling vocal harmonies, recorded during the frenzy of South by Southwest.
Feb 28, 2012 — In under five hours at the Newport Jazz Festival, Harland was the drummer for three different world-class bands. We asked him to play a rusty piece of scrap metal. Watch a duo improvisation from a rather unorthodox venue.
Jan 25, 2013 — Watch one of today's top string quartets delve deep at a Brooklyn bookstore to play the dark-hued second movement of Felix Mendelssohn's Op. 80 string quartet.
Jan 3, 2013 — Playing to a sea of empty red seats at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., Phil Elverum and two backing vocalists untangle a web of words in a quiet but complex acoustic version of "Ocean Roar."
Jan 12, 2012 — For composer Michael Gordon's mesmerizing Timber, written for six two-by-fours, Mantra set up a public performance of the piece in the lumber department of a big-box hardware store in Alexandria, Va.
Oct 18, 2012 — Singer Carla Morrison has already enchanted audiences in her native Mexico with her sweet, timeless voice and unabashedly lovelorn lyrics. She joins us here for a special performance at The High Line, an elevated park in New York City.
Jul 10, 2012 — Watch a "flash choir" descend upon Times Square to sing a world premiere of music by Philip Glass, commissioned by NPR Music in honor of the composer's 75th birthday.
Nov 8, 2012 — Joy Williams and John Paul White have built a gentle, harmony-rich folk-pop sound in which warm chemistry seeps out of every note. The pair recently announced a hiatus due to "irreconcilable differences," but before that, they performed "Kingdom Come" backstage at the Sasquatch! Music Festival.