Tiny Desk Live performance : NPR

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One measure of an artist’s reputation is how lengthy it takes to e book them for a Tiny Desk live performance. Within the case of British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, it took about three years. Granted, the pandemic obtained in the best way, however ever since his 2018 breakthrough efficiency on the marriage ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, he is been — evidently — in demand. Practically 2 billion individuals worldwide noticed his royal efficiency on tv.

On the Tiny Desk, Kanneh-Mason performed for under a handful of NPR staffers, and the efficiency felt like a direct communication from his luminous cello (in-built 1700) to our heartstrings. It was very true in Kanneh-Mason’s personal association of «Myfanwy,» the mournful Welsh people music the cellist first heard from his grandmother. Accompanying himself with left hand pizzicato, Kanneh-Mason makes his instrument sing like a tragic previous Welshman with a tear in his eye.

Apart from his expressive enjoying, Kanneh-Mason excels at arranging pop songs for his instrument. «No Lady, No Cry,» certainly one of his calling playing cards, explores the tender and bittersweet facet of the Bob Marley traditional.

Nonetheless solely 23, Kanneh-Mason’s stature instructions the eye of composers. Final yr, the positive younger Brit Edmund Finnis wrote a set of solo preludes for Kanneh-Mason. The music reveals the cello’s many voices, from growling urgency to supple soliloquy to full-throated cry.

Whereas we will not assure 2 billion views on our platforms, those that do watch this Tiny Desk efficiency will witness a rising younger star who, whether or not he is aware of it or not, represents nothing lower than the way forward for classical music.


  • Bob Marley: «No Lady, No Cry» (arr. Sheku Kanneh-Mason)
  • Edmund Finnis: Preludes I-III for solo cello
  • Joseph Parry: «Myfanwy» (arr. Sheku Kanneh-Mason)


  • Sheku Kanneh-Mason: cello


  • Producer: Tom Huizenga
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Engineer: Andie Huether
  • Audio Combine: Josh Rogosin
  • Artistic Director: Bob Boilen
  • Collection Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Sofia Seidel
  • Audio Assistant: Hannah Copeland 
  • Manufacturing Assistant: Jill Britton
  • Tiny Desk Staff: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Kara Body, Maia Stern, Ashley Pointer
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann


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