JPR Music

JPR Music is a place that celebrates music discovery.  It's a place that collects what we think is exciting on the contemporary music  scene, in the State of Jefferson and beyond.  JPR Music features exclusive Live Sessions, reviews by JPR music hosts, NPR Tiny Desk concerts and First Listens of new releases.  Visit often ... and re-discover music!

Back in 2006, a group of cellists in Portland got together for what they thought would be a one-off performance at the Doug Fir Lounge. It wasn't. Rather, it was the beginning of a long and expansive journey featuring over a hundred different members and well over a thousand different pieces of repertoire.

A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and multiple-Grammy winner, Rodney Crowell has been making music for over forty years. In that time, he's released over twenty albums, written and recorded five consecutive number-one hits, and produced scores of albums for other stars. He's been honored with an ASCAP lifetime achievement award for his work.

On Friday, February 7th at Noon, JPR welcomes back sister duo Lily and Madeleine for a JPR Live Session on Open Air.

Curtis Salgado has been a landmark in the Northwest blues music scene for over 30 years. His unique style of blues, soul, and r&b has propelled him to the top of the scene. In Alan Hager, Salgado found not only an excellent lead guitarist for his band, but a like minded scholar of music - able to turn on a dime in virtually any direction.

On Friday, January 31st at Noon, JPR will broadcast a JPR Live Session with singer/songwriter Liz Longley on Open Air.

Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, J.S. Ondara was tuned into the BBC and the vast world of music that was often as far away as the United States. None of those sounds resonated more clearly than those of one particular troubadour from Minnesota: Bob Dylan.  Fast forward ten years and J.S. Ondara has relocated to Minnesota, hoping to follow a path of inspiration and carve his own career as a singer and songwriter.

2020 Slingshot Artists To Watch

Jan 9, 2020

It's a new decade and a fresh chance for emerging artists to shine. As part of Slingshot, NPR music stations have chosen a select group of artists who are sure to do big things in 2020. Some have been around for a bit, but just never had the chance to "slingshot" into the popular music space. Packed with discoveries, our 2020 Artists To Watch list features a diverse celebration of artists, with many releasing new projects later this year.

Shovels & Rope is the musical duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. Over the course of the last dozen years, the duo has fine tuned their gritty and self-described "imperfect" Americana sound across seven albums.

Jonathan Scales is one of the most creative and virtuosic steel pannists on the planet, and his ability has taken the instrument into territory not previously explored. With his trio mates of E'Lon JD on electric bass and Maison Guidry on the drums, the ensemble regularly turns on a dime, taking the music further into new creative spaces.

Texas Piano Man - the new album and persona of Robert Ellis - is something his friends and bandmates could see coming from miles away. In fact, Ellis had to create the full blown bedecked character in order to finally be himself on stage.

Boy & Bear have been living on the radio charts in their native Australia since 2011, when their debut album won them five Aria awards and landed three separate songs on the "best of the year" list assembled by influential radio station Triple-J.

Tinariwen, or ⵜⵉⵏⴰⵔⵉⵡⵉⵏ in their traditional Tamasheq language, is a group of Tuareg rock musicians from the Saharan Desert region of northern Mali. The band formed in 1979 in Algeria, and first started to gain a following outside the region in the early 2000s with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions. NPR calls the group "music's true rebels."

To celebrate the end of 2019, we are publishing a special edition of Heavy Rotation – our popular, monthly series that features songs public radio can't stop playing. This list of songs is ranked in order, using spin counts compiled from our various member stations across the country. Here are the most popular thirty songs from another music-filled year in public radio.

Donovan Woods is a known as a true songwriter's songwriter. His tunes have been recorded by major musical stars, including Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Billy Currington. But some of the tunes that come from his pen are reserved for his own recordings. In the last 18 months, Woods has released Both Ways, and The Other Way - an acoustic re-imagining of the songs.

Amy LaVere's voice is what catches you first - girlish, but with the depth of someone with a full book of stories. NPR’s Robert Siegel once said that Amy LaVere “specializes in lyrics that are more barbed than her sweet soprano prepares you for.” Her latest album Painting Blue - produced by her husband and frequent musical collaborator Will Sexton - was released earlier this year on Nine Mile Records. In our live session, Sexton joined LaVere for some tunes from the new album.

Molly Tuttle's facility on acoustic guitar is already well-known, but on her recently released debut album When You're Ready (Compass Records), she also displays her songwriting skills. She sat down with Eric Teel to talk about her upbringing in a musical home, her practice routine, and her recent haul of awards.

The Commonheart is an 8-piece soul band from Pittsburgh. Stocked with fantastic instrumentalists and vocalists at every spot, the band flows seamlessly through rock, soul, r&b, gospel and more on their latest album Pressure.

JPR Live Session: Barrie

Nov 8, 2019

Barrie is the musical project of Barrie Lindsay – a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Brooklyn, New York. 

For this edition of Heavy Rotation, take a listen to NPR member stations' most-loved songs of October. You'll find new music from Frank Ocean and the R&B stylings of Sampa the Great.

All songs from this month's Heavy Rotation are available to stream on the Heavy Rotation Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page.


Bouncing back and forth between New Orleans where she now lives, and Austin, Texas where she cut her musical teeth, Albanie Falletta has absorbed much of the sound of the American past. There was zydeco, jazz, and blues from the music festivals, and gospel music from churches and backyard parties.

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