Musician Emily Bear has composed more than 350 pieces for the piano. She's recorded six albums, performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, and worked closely with her mentor, music legend Quincy Jones. And get this: She's 12.
While young women dominate the dance and pop charts, it's been nearly 20 years since we've seen them top the alternative-rock charts. This year, a 16-year-old girl from New Zealand got the job done with a tune that's just about the opposite of anything you'd hear from her peers. Ella Yelich O'Connor — better known as Lorde — is the voice behind the snarky, chart-topping track "Royals," which is the lead single from her debut album, Pure Heroine.
The World Cafe: Next pick for this week, San Fermin, is a vehicle for the writing and arranging of Brooklyn composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone. He created the album San Fermin after graduating from Yale with a music degree. The 24-year-old then cast his friends — vocalist Allen Tate and Lucius' Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig — to breathe life into the characters he'd written.
This session, from July 2007, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.
Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová never set out to make a record together: The two had toured Europe together on and off, but that was mostly to provide a break from Hansard's long-running main band, The Frames. Then the two were approached to record a pair of songs for a film — and given four days in the studio, which they spent recording enough material for a full album, complete with the accompaniment of strings.
He seemed so casual — sitting on a bar stool behind the Tiny Desk, acoustic guitar in hand — but when you hear that husky voice, you'll know why he's a legend. Oliver Mtukudzi, or "Tuku" as his fans lovingly call him, plays spirited music, born from the soul of Zimbabwe. He's been recording since the late 1970s, with about as many albums as his age: 60.