NPR Music Announces Annual Tiny Desk Concert Contest

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Once again, NPR Music is asking unknown bands and musicians all over the country to film themselves performing one song at a desk of their choice as a part of the 2017 Tiny Desk Concert.

The contest will be sponsored for the third year by Lagunitas Brewing Company, and the winner will play NPR’s famous Tiny Desk in Washington, D.C., before embarking on a U.S. tour that includes appearances at a taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another and at events hosted by NPR Music and Lagunitas, in partnership with member stations throughout the country.

The judging panel this year will include tastemakers such as WXPN’s Talia Schlanger, WFUV’s Rita Houston and KEXP’s Stas THEE Boss; alongside NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, plus favorite Tiny Desk alumni Miguel, Anthony Hamilton, Ben Hopkins of PWR BTTM, Trey Anastasio and BANKS.

Contestants must create a new video of themselves performing a song that they have written by a desk (any kind of desk), upload it onto YouTube and fill out the form on NPR’s website after it opens on Jan. 13.

In 2016, the Tiny Desk Contest 2016 engaged more than 6,000 artists and bands. The inaugural winner, Oakland blues musician Fantastic Negrito, has enjoyed his share of success since playing his Tiny Desk concert. He just received his first Grammy nomination, and he has played famed stages around the world — from Madison Square Garden to the Royal Albert Hall.

Last year’s winner, folk musician Gaelynn Lea from Duluth, MN, performed a Tiny Desk concert at NPR HQ and delighted guests at events co-hosted with member stations across the country. Since winning the contest, she has toured internationally and played at renowned venues, including the Kennedy Center.

The contest will be accepting entries from Jan. 13 through Jan. 29, 2017. A winner will be announced in early March.