NPR Music Celebrates Black Music Month

In commemoration of Juneteenth, NPR Music celebrates Black music's influence by featuring domestic and international artists during a month-long celebration. The showcase will include a robust list of Tiny Desk concerts and Tiny Desk (home) concerts by Usher, FKA Twigs, Monica, Larry June, and more.

Tiny Desk Series Producer Bobby Carter will highlight different genres and generations with 11 Tiny Desk concerts each week. The celebration will feature iconic and emerging musicians and specially curated playlists beginning June 1 and running through June 30.

Starting on June 1st, NPR Music officially celebrates Black Music Month with an array of brand-new Tiny Desk concerts. "We will publish eleven performances representing the past, present, and future of Black music. This is the first time each of the eleven acts will play the Tiny Desk," said Bobby. He added, "The Tiny Desk has become a go-to source to witness Black artists express themselves in ways we've never seen. This month of carefully curated shows reinforces how uniquely the Tiny Desk showcases Black music." 

The June celebration also includes special Jazz Night in America content with a video short about prominent jazz pianist Hazel Scott on June 9th, American saxophonist Gray Bartz will have a dedicated radio episode on June 23rd, and end with an episode on jazz trumpeter Theo Croker on June 30th.

Since the launch of the Tiny Desk concert series in 2008, more than 900 performances have been recorded at the Tiny Desk — Bob Boilen's festive workspace at NPR headquarters — which is adorned with years of music mementos and memorabilia. Tiny Desk concerts accrue 45 million views per month and unify a passionate community around the love of music discovery. The series has provided a unique stage for artists across the genre spectrum and at every phase of their careers, including performances by Megan Thee StallionTaylor SwiftDamian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Freddie GibbsToro y MoiWeezer, the characters of Sesame Street and more.

Since the Tiny Desk team has been working from home, NPR Music has been producing Tiny Desk (home) concerts in response to ongoing social-distancing measures: performances with the same intimate Tiny Desk spirit in settings all over the world. The series has recently featured performances by Curren$y, The Linda LindasMaren MorrisPom Pom SquadCamiloPatti LaBelle and many more. The Tiny Desk series has been recognized in Billboard as one of music's biggest stages, in the LA Times as a golden ticket to the Grammys, HYPEBEAST as a launchpad for musicians of color, and VOX as a concert keeping live music alive during quarantine.