2019 NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest

Mar 13, 2019

NPR Music has announced the return of its popular Tiny Desk Contest. Over the past four years the Contest has received more than 22,000 entries from artists and bands across all 50 states. Tiny Desk Contest winners have gone on to do great things: the inaugural winner Fantastic Negrito, won two Grammy awards; folk musician Gaelynn Lea has built an enthusiastic fanbase in the United States and across Europe, released a new album and played at renowned venues like the Kennedy Center. The third year winner, Tank and the Bangas, has brought its unique energy to sold-out crowds around the world, even performing at last year’s Coachella festival. Last year’s winner, Naia Izumi, opened the national tour for The Lone Bellow, performed a TED Salon, and signed a contract with Sony Masterworks.

Unsigned bands and musicians can submit videos through Sunday, April 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET at NPR.org/tinydeskcontest. This year for the first time, the Contest will be open to artists 18 years and older. Please see website for official rules.

"Each year the Contest inspires musicians to get together with their friends and make something—it’s wonderful to receive all these unique creations and witness how the community has grown,” said Bob Boilen, creator of the Tiny Desk concert series and host of All Songs Considered. "Just like at the Tiny Desk concerts: all genres and instruments are welcome. I can’t wait to see what musicians all over the country will send us this year!"

Blue Microphones, makers of the Yeti USB microphone, is the exclusive sponsor of this year’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest and tour The Contest’s top prize includes a performance at the iconic Tiny Desk space at NPR’s Washington, D.C. HQ. The winner will also go on tour with NPR Music. The event series, in partnership with NPR Member stations, includes stops in New York (WFUV), Seattle (KEXP), Austin (KUTX), and Los Angeles (KCRW.)

This year, NPR Music has again chosen popular Tiny Desk alumni to judge the Contest: Lucy Dacus, Ledisi and Jason Isbell will be reviewing submissions to find artists they love. The judging panel will also include two NPR Member stations: KCRW host Raul Campos and KEXP DJ Abbie Gobeli, as well as NPR Music's hip-hop critic Rodney Carmichael and Bob Boilen, host and creator of All Songs Considered.