Field Recordings NPR Music takes musicians out of the concert hall and off the beaten path for a series of surprising performances.

Field recordings

Out of the concert hall and off the beaten path

Slowdive plays a Field Recording at Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn, N.Y. Becky Lettenberger/NPR hide caption

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Slowdive Fills A Shuffleboard Parlor With Shimmering Sound

Fresh off its first album in 22 years, the U.K. shoegaze band performs the dream-pop ballad "Sugar For The Pill" at a Brooklyn shuffleboard parlor.

Angel Olsen performs "Give It Up" in the Fordham University Church. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Watch Angel Olsen Perform In A Bronx Church

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Accompanying herself on electric guitar, the singer performs her resolutely earthly song "Give It Up" at the Fordham University Church.

Lawrence Brownlee performs with pianist Jason Moran in the active crypt below the historic Church of the Intercession in Harlem. NPR hide caption

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Singing For Life In A Crypt In Harlem

Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee joins jazz pianist Jason Moran in a landmark church to tell a troubling new story with an old spiritual.

Mac DeMarco on the water near his home in Far Rockaway, Queens. Adam Wolffbrandt/NPR hide caption

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Take A Sunset Cruise With Mac DeMarco

With just a keyboard and a microphone, the singer takes to a rowboat in the lightly choppy waters off Far Rockaway, Queens, to perform his song "No Other Heart."

Daniel Bachman performs for a Field Recordings video shoot at Stratford Hall, birthplace of Robert E. Lee in Stratford, Virginia. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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History Runs Through Daniel Bachman's Guitar

The acoustic guitarist's "Song For The Setting Sun II" boldly leaps around a sunlit room in Stratford Hall, home to four generations of Virginia's Lee family.

Joyce DiDonato sings during a video shoot for NPR Music's Field Recordings series at the Stonewall Inn in New York City NPR hide caption

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Joyce DiDonato Takes A Stand At Stonewall

The opera star, with a posse of friends, visits a historic gay bar in Greenwich Village to talk about equality and sing a centuries-old aria that still resonates.

The members of Wild Beasts perform for a Field Recordings video shoot at The Campbell Apartment in New York City's Grand Central Station. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Wild Beasts: A 'Beautiful Truth' In A Beautiful Bar

We asked the romantic London band to perform a song from its album Present Tense in The Campbell Apartment, an antique bar tucked into the corner of New York's bustling Grand Central Station.

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The Fastest Fingers At The Festival, For Django Reinhardt

A group of European gypsy jazz masters closed out the Newport Jazz Festival with a dazzling set full of flying fingers. After everyone left, we asked the players to perform one more just for us.

Jesse Boykins III Breaks It Down

Surrounded by unfinished and leftover Mardi Gras floats, Boykins pulls back the layers of his song "4 U 2 B Free," matching his performance to the exposed, vulnerable characters surrounding him.

AJ Davila performs at Tere's Beauty Salon in Spanish Harlem for an NPR Music Field Recordings video shoot. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Garage-Rocker AJ Davila Unplugs In A Hair Salon

An exciting underground music scene has sprung up in Puerto Rico, and Davila is at its helm. Just in time for fall, watch him perform a summery song called "Es Verano Ya."

Ages and Ages performs with The Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir backstage at Newport Folk Festival. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Ages And Ages, Singing An Anthem For (And With) Everyone

Recorded with the Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir in the ruins within Newport's Fort Adams State Park, "Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)" has a message and a chorus that everyone can enjoy.

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Ledisi Steals The Show

Standing on a balcony in her hometown of New Orleans, the singer stops an unsuspecting crowd, and all the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, dead in its tracks.