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This was quite a year for the Tiny Desk Contest.

We have big things in store for 2018, and we can’t wait to share them with you.


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hear more about tank and the bangas

NPR Music's Bob Boilen and Trey Anastasio announced the winner on Morning Edition.  

All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro spoke with Tank later that day.

what the judges said

2016: Gaelynn Lea

Gaelynn Lea’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest entry was compelling, thoughtful and beautiful. She won over our judges with her innovative songwriting and playing.

Since winning the Tiny Desk Contest, Gaelynn has toured internationally and played at renowned venues like the Kennedy Center.

2015: Fantastic Negrito

Fantastic Negrito’s winning entry in the 2015 Tiny Desk Contest was a raw, soulful performance captured at a makeshift desk in a freight elevator.

Since winning the Tiny Desk Contest, Fantastic Negrito has played at a number of major music festivals and at Madison Square Garden, and was recently nominated for his first Grammy.

see the latest

Goodbye from the Tiny Desk Contest (for now)

Our 2017 Tiny Desk Contest has come to an end.

We’ve just returned from our tour, hosting concerts in 10 cities with lineups featuring 36 different bands who had entered the Tiny Desk Contest. The joy of seeing so much remarkable talent spoke to the spirit of the Contest as a whole, from the day we announced we were running it again (with help from our sponsors and fellow music-lovers Lagunitas Brewing Co.), through the time you spent gathering together to make and enter your videos, to the time we all spent together in your home scenes.

At each stop — in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Charleston, Nashville and Austin — we saw communities in love with the music of their town. We hope we helped fans discover new bands from their own neighborhoods. If this Contest teaches us anything, it’s that there’s great music all around you — you just may not know it yet. (You can still see everyone’s entry — and even filter by location — on our website, look at photos from the tour in this slideshow and read all about it on our blog.)

Among the many special things about this whole experience was the chance for us to travel with and get to know Tank and the Bangas. They’re a remarkable band from New Orleans, combining a dash of Disney, the heart of hip-hop, the roll of R&B and the power of poetry and storytelling into a music like nothing else I’ve heard. It’s the sound of celebration — a celebration of life, in its ups and downs, but most of all a celebration of other people.

In that way, they are perfect ambassadors for the Tiny Desk Contest. The group’s will to unite people around music is something I identify strongly with — it’s part of what I’ve dedicated my career to. It’s what we’ve tried to do here in this Contest. And that’s what every single one of you has done with us, together. So for all those who participated as artists or listeners, from my heart to yours, thank you. Thank you for reminding me why we on the Tiny Desk Contest team — and at NPR Music as a whole — do what we do:

For the love of music, for the love of community.

Listen To Tank And The Bangas On NPR’s Ask Me Another

On the first night of our Tiny Desk Contest tour, Tank and the Bangas appeared at the Bell House in Brooklyn, N.Y. for a live taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another. You can listen to them play a short set — and compete to see whether Tank knows Disney songs better than Albert does.

Image credit: Mike Katzif/NPR

From One Tiny Desk Contest Entrant To Another

On Tuesday night, the second night of three consecutive southern Tiny Desk Contest shows, we returned to The Basement East for the second year in a row. We had an amazing line-up of four local Tiny Desk Contest entrants — Liz Cooper & The Stampede, Ike and the Crooked Souls, Peyton Parker and Scriptkiddie.

Someone else was in the crowd too — two-time entrant Scott Mulvahill, who played our showcase last year. We learned that it was his performance at the 2016 showcase that inspired singer-songwriter Peyton Parker to enter the beautiful “A Million Things” this year. That song earned her the spot onstage that night. And it reminded us of just what it is the Tiny Desk Contest community does best — inspire each other.

Thank You, Austin!

Yesterday evening, we had our last night of the Tiny Desk Contest tour. It’s been a whirlwind, and we’ll have some thoughts on the experience to share soon, but in the meantime we just want to thank KUTX and everybody who came to the show for making it so special. You can keep up with the bands who performed via their Facebook pages:

Kiko Villamizar
Pocket Sounds
Tank and the Bangas

Thank you again for such a special night — and for an amazing tour. Stay tuned for more soon.

Image credits: Lizzie Chen

Thank you, Nashville!

Last night, we returned to the Basement East for our Nashville Tiny Desk Contest event. We had a great time last year, and this year was every bit as great. We co-hosted the event with WPLN and WMOT and featured four local acts who entered the Contest, each of whom put on a stellar show. Stay up to date with them via their Facebook pages:

Liz Cooper & The Stampede
Ike and the Crooked Souls
Peyton Parker

Tonight, we have our last night of the tour in Austin. It’s been a wild and lovely few days, filled with new people and great new music. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Image Credits: Bob Boilen/NPR

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