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The New York band Hospitality makes music that's unmistakably friendly and welcoming — it's hug-and-a-handshake pop that lives up to its name by jangling and chiming comfortably. The group doesn't overwhelm so much as it wears listeners down with a subtle charm offensive.

Steve Coleman plays in the ruins of Fort Adams during the Newport Jazz Fest 2011. NPR hide caption

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Steve Coleman And The Invention Of New Languages


The saxophonist is known for his unique compositions. In a dark corner of the Newport Jazz Festival, he and his band gave us a little demonstration of how this musical dialect is forged.

Avishai Cohen of Third World Love. John Rogers for NPR/ hide caption

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Third World Love: Live In Concert


As its name suggests, this quartet borrows from the folk-dance rhythms of Africa and the Middle East. But it also draws on the perspective of modern jazz. Hear a live recording.

Now vs. Now: (L-R) Jason Lindner, Panagiotis Andreou, Mark Guiliana. John Rogers for NPR/ hide caption

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Now Vs. Now: Live In Concert


Jason Lindner refracts the sounds of New York City, from bebop to way beyond. His electro-groove trio, heavy on synths, bent bass notes and backbeats, slings a cosmopolitan take on the jam session.

M. Ward performs at Apogee Studios for KCRW. KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: M. Ward


The understated singer, guitarist and songwriter performed an exclusive concert for KCRW at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio. Watch a four-song set.

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Cowboy Junkies

Make a list of bands with integrity, still highly respected and still making music after 25 years, and that list will have Cowboy Junkies near the top. The band remains prolific, tender and poignant, as evidenced by this performance at the NPR Music offices.

Now, Now performs on The Current. Nate Ryan/The Current hide caption

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Now, Now: Indie Pop's New 'Threads'

The Current

The Twin Cities rock trio released its new album, Threads, on Chris Walla's record label. See what attracted his attention in this video from Minnesota's The Current.

Of Montreal plays the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on April 6. NPR hide caption

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Of Montreal

The Athens, Ga., rock group has built its reputation on wildly theatrical live performances. Watch the band's latest stage spectacle, recorded live from Washington, D.C.

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Jolie Holland

It'll take just a few seconds to find out if you're likely to fall in love with Jolie Holland. In this intimate performance at the NPR Music offices, Holland plays songs from 2011's Pint of Blood with an unadorned style that makes her lyrics and voice all the more touching.

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Lee Fields: Early Morning Soul

With his voice still raw from a show the night before, rough-and-tumble soul singer Lee Fields reached deep, fought off the morning fog and gave a passionate performance of "Still Hanging On."

Lost In The Trees perform at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on April 11, 2012. AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

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Lost In The Trees In Concert

Lost in the Trees finds beauty in the darkest places, mixing breathtaking string arrangements with acoustic guitars to tell tragic stories of depression, suicide and family strife.

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Jack White: How I Made 'Blunderbuss'

All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and Jack White discuss the making of White's album, Blunderbuss. Plus, the difference between playing with men and women, and why hipsters are scary.

The Soweto Gospel Choir performs a Tiny Desk Concert on February 14, 2011. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

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Soweto Gospel Choir

Singing in a number of South African languages, as well as English, Soweto Gospel Choir fuses the praise music of many Christian cultures, with nods to traditional African songs of celebration — complete with occasional clicks and bird songs.

Afro-Peruvian band Novalima performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 12, 2012. Doriane Raiman/NPR hide caption

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Novalima infuses traditional Peruvian music with new life by adding electronic sounds to create songs that sound both familiar and new. In this performance at the NPR Music offices, the band plays in a lean, funky configuration that gets the room grooving along.

Grimes, a.k.a. Claire Boucher, brought her preset-powered electro-pop to the KEXP studios. Morgen Schuler/KEXP hide caption

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Grimes: Building Beats From The Ground Up


The electro-pop producer surrounded herself with equipment, and began making magic with pedals and knobs at the KEXP studio in Seattle.