Celebrating Black History Month At The Tiny Desk

This February, NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring 13 Tiny Desk (home) concerts by Black artists across genres.
NPR

January 29, 2021; Washington, D.C.- This February, NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring 13 Tiny Desk (home) concerts by Black artists across genres. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time.

The Black History Month celebration will also highlight performances by Black artists from the Tiny Desk archives with weekly curated playlists. Featured playlist curators include Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Music at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nwaka Onwusa Vice President and Chief curator at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and more.

The month-long celebration will spotlight different genres and generations each week. The month begins on February 2nd with jazz performances by Wynton Marsalis, Immanuel Wilkins and Melanie Charles. The week of February 8th includes R&B musicians Meshell Ndegeocello, Giveon and KeiyaA. Then the week of February 15th will highlight hip hop musicians Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and Rae Khalil. To close the month on February 22nd Wizkid, Bartees Strange, Sampa The Great and Kirk Franklin will perform for Wildcard week.

“Black music has always had a home at the Tiny Desk. As the series developed, our wonderful producers brought more hip hop and R&B artists to the Desk and challenged them to play within the format,” said NPR Music’s Bobby Carter, who is producing the month of concerts. “The innovative results resonated with audiences: it’s T-Pain minus auto-tune. It’s Gucci Mane with an upright piano. It’s Megan Thee Stallion with Phony Ppl. The month long celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.”

NPR Music premiered Tiny Desk (Home) concerts on March 24, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s social distancing guidelines. The concerts have the same intimate Tiny Desk spirit — stripped-down sets in an intimate setting — but captured where artists are living. 

The series has provided a unique insight into the creative space of artists across genres, including recent performances by Lenny KravitzTame ImpalaRoddy Ricch, Billie EilishDirty Projectors,Jazmine SullivanLittle DragonSoccer MommyTiwa Savage,Lianne La HavasBaby Rose, and more. Tiny Desk (Home) has been recognized in Adweekas the hottest pandemic pivot, HYPEBEASTas a launchpad for musicians of color and VOX as a concert keeping live music alive during quarantine.

We’re proud to announce State Farm® is the exclusive sponsor of NPR Music’s Tiny Desk celebration of Black History Month.

Here’s the full schedule of performances:

WEEK 1: JAZZ 

  • 2/2: Wynton Marsalis
  • 2/3: Immanuel Wilkins
  • 2/4: Melanie Charles

WEEK 2: R&B 

  • 2/8: Meshell Ndegeocello
  • 2/9: Giveon
  • 2/10: KeiyaA

WEEK 3: HIP HOP 

  • 2/15: Rick Ross
  • 2/16: 2 Chainz
  • 2/17: Rae Khalil

WEEK 4: WILDCARD WEEK 

  • 2/22: Wizkid
  • 2/23: Bartees Strange
  • 2/24: Sampa The Great
  • 2/25: Kirk Franklin

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