Will a Connecticut Musician Sit at NPR's Tiny Desk?
Do you want to perform at arguably the most famous desk in the music world? NPR Music has launched its second annual Tiny Desk Contest to give undiscovered talent a boost on the national scene.
Last year, Connecticut musicians had a strong presence in the contest -- and although the winner was Oakland-based Fantastic Negrito, Connecticutians didn't go unnoticed.
Several acts familiar to WNPR entered last year's contest, including Violent Mae and the Hartford Hot Several. But some new faces joined in too, like Tet Offensive out of New Haven and Meredith Rose from Storrs.
Rose was featured on the Tiny Desk Contest Tumblr page after sharing a connection she made with another entrant from Astoria, New York.
Bob Boilen, host of NPR's All Songs Considered, told WNPR's Where We Live that stories like Rose's is his favorite part of the contest. "Artists will get together; they'll find a space that maybe they never went to before; they'll work on a project together; they'll find some videographer they've never known -- and all of a sudden, you've formed this little tiny community of six, eight, 12 people that would not have happened," said Boilen.
WNPR is gathering submissions from Connecticut to feature on this page, too. Here are some of the entrants:
Speaking of Meredith Rose, she returns to this year's contest with, "I Don't Want To Know." If you listen to the performance without watching the video, it would sound like she's joined by a band but this is all Meredith. "I wrote, produced, and performed every aspect of what you hear - whether it's a tremolo loop, a piano lick, or the electro-indulgent bridge," she wrote. "Every sound is triggered live. As you can imagine, there was a good bit of time invested in rehearsal!"
One of The Girls From Ruby Falls also hails from down the hall. Heather Fay works in CPTV's music department and is an accomplished musician in her own right. She joins her sister (the other girl from Ruby Falls) to perform "Tennessee Wildflowers" with their band.
Hartford Hot Several Brass Band submitted its song "Get Funky," and provides Josh Michtom with a nice break from work in his office (where he apparently keeps a baritone horn under his desk). WNPR producer J Holt also shares his trumpet chops off with the group:
New London's Daphne Lee Martin has been touring the country extensively and returned home to record the dark, moody, and groovy "Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Head." Look out for the additional vocals by SuaveSki adding another layer to a deeply layered song.
By the end of Lara Herscovitch's rendition of "Misfit," it's surprising the snow didn't melt around her from her warm voice and performance.
Kristen Graves from Fairfield is Connecticut's current State Troubadour. She turned her desk/table into an instrument for her performance of "Long Gone."
Licensed New York City subway performer and Connecticut resident Glenn Roth is a captivating guitarist in his submission of "Welcome Home."
Last year, Boilen watched more than 2,000 Tiny Desk Contest submissions.
What are the judges looking for? "Looking for something unique," said Boilen. Although there are lots of creative and quirky videos submitted, he said it's "all about the music."
The deadline was February 2, 2016. We look forward to finding out who wins! We'll share as many submissions as we can locally on WNPR and WNPR.org. For more information, contact Tucker Ives.