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Make Your Dreams Come True: Enter the Tiny Desk Contest

The opportunity to make your dream to perform at the iconic Tiny Desk come true is here: NPR wants to hear from you! The Tiny Desk Contest is back and it will be more fun than ever before with brand-new virtual events including the Tiny Desk Contest Family Hour, a Tiny Desk Trivia Night and the return of the Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf video series. "If you're a musician, you want to be heard; this is a unique chance to make that happen," said Bob Boilen, creator of the Tiny Desk series. "We...

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In a rare positive reversal for concert plans during the pandemic, GrassRoots will present live music this summer at Trumansburg Fairgrounds after all.

Here’s the question for Missy Pfohl Smith: What prompted the creation of the ARTs + Change Conference?

Worldwide, it’s the rising tide of polarization, and social media’s role in it, she says. Closer to home, it was the death of Daniel Prude — a man in the midst of a mental health crisis — at the hands of the Rochester Police Department “that sparked all the protests and brought up the problems that have been happening here for a long time, but really became acute in that moment last summer,” says Pfohl Smith, who organized the conference.

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As the pandemic recedes, the sounds of daily life are returning to American neighborhoods. In Mexican communities, that means mariachi musicians are back serenading family parties.

On Tuesday, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its newest class of National Heritage fellows: 9 individuals and groups who represent the richness and breadth of America's folk and traditional arts.

This year's class of fellows includes artists and creators from African-American, Mexican-American, Native, Filipino, Irish-American and Puerto Rican backgrounds, whose array of mediums span many kinds of music, ribbon and lace work, tap dance and filmmaking.

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For its 50th anniversary, join us in an online listening party for Joni Mitchell's Blue.

In a Twitter post, In The Heights co-creator Lin-Manuel Miranda publicly addressed criticisms of the film's casting that noted only light-skinned actors had roles as the musical's main Latinx characters.

Miranda apologized, writing Monday evening: "I hear that, without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the world feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy. In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I'm truly sorry."

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Just because you're stuck in the house doesn't mean there's nothing to do. Check out all the virtual events on the CITY event calendar you can be a part of!

World Cafe on WRUR

The premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country.

In a rare positive reversal for concert plans during the pandemic, GrassRoots will present live music this summer at Trumansburg Fairgrounds after all.

Here’s the question for Missy Pfohl Smith: What prompted the creation of the ARTs + Change Conference?

Worldwide, it’s the rising tide of polarization, and social media’s role in it, she says. Closer to home, it was the death of Daniel Prude — a man in the midst of a mental health crisis — at the hands of the Rochester Police Department “that sparked all the protests and brought up the problems that have been happening here for a long time, but really became acute in that moment last summer,” says Pfohl Smith, who organized the conference.

The prison in Central America was run down, the conditions horrible. Yet art was there. 

“Guys with tattoos on their faces, their eyelids, under their lips,” says Mandalit del Barco. “Places that hurt. They would try to put art on themselves, their whole bodies.” 

Some of these men had roamed the streets of Los Angeles, in gangs, until they’d been deported. And now, imprisoned. Perhaps that guy had been one of them, the one with the tattoo on his forehead.

This was a name almost -- almost -- as big as previous visitors to the Bug Jar, such as The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and Lizzo. 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, backed by the iconic chintzy décor of the tiny Rochester music club, was describing in a March 31 press conference some of the federal government’s programs that are designed to save our music culture from the coronavirus pandemic.

As freelance artists in a time of pandemic drought, David Cowles and Josh Gosfield sensed it was time to put matters in their own hands.

“Let’s not wait for art directors to give us jobs,” Cowles says, “let’s do something that we really love.”

Heroes. We love heroes. We need heroes to get us through tough times. Cowles and Gosfield have given us 63 heroes, as defined by 63 artists, for this moment in a new art-driven magazine, Public Eye.

Over the past six years, nearly 30,000 musicians have entered NPR's annual Tiny Desk Contest in the hopes of being chosen to perform as part of NPR Music's signature music discovery series. Now, NPR is once again calling for bands and musicians to submit a video. Contest winners have gone on to tour the world, sign with major labels, open for legendary performers and even receive Grammy awards.

HomeStage: Charles Jaffe

May 7, 2021

The musicians of Rochester have skills other than making music. Charles Jaffe excels in marquetry, the art of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. On this HomeStage, Jaffe combines both - a song and marquetry he's working on. (Also check out all the HomeStage performances here)


A Tulsan by way of Detroit, Austin and Los Angeles, Tori Ruffin is the founding member of Freak Juice, a funky, hard-rocking music collaborative that includes musicians Charlie Redd (bass), Stanley Fary (drums) and Christopher Simpson (vocals). Exhorting fans to "Get in the Blender," Freak Juice delivers music that owes as much to the party ethos of '80s hair metal bands as it does to the social justice messaging of Marvin Gaye. "It's kind of like Deftones meets Miles Davis with some funk and hip-hop thrown in," Ruffin says.

The opportunity to make your dream to perform at the iconic Tiny Desk come true is here: NPR wants to hear from you! The Tiny Desk Contest is back and it will be more fun than ever before with brand-new virtual events including the Tiny Desk Contest Family Hour, a Tiny Desk Trivia Night and the return of the Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf video series.

After an attempt to save this year’s edition of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival by moving it back a month and changing the location to Rochester Institute of Technology, the event’s producers announced Monday morning that the event will be postponed again.

The new dates are June 17-25, 2022. But it was not immediately clear where the festival will be held. 

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