Yet Another Exceptional NPR Tiny Desk Concert: The Band’s Visit

Music • Views: 30,145

YouTube

May 21, 2018 | Josh Rogosin — After nearly 800 Tiny Desk concerts, The Band’s Visit is the first Broadway musical ever to play the series.

The crew from the show, which opened last November at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, descended on NPR at 8:30 a.m. — seven musicians, five actors, a wardrobe department, a make-up artist, a publicist, a music director, the composer and even a vlogger. We started early so they could hustle back to Manhattan for a 7 p.m. curtain.

The story of The Band’s Visit, composer David Yazbek told the Tiny Desk audience, “is about hope and faith and silence and music.” It tells the tale of Egyptian musicians stranded in a small Israeli village. The townspeople have no choice but to take them in. Eventually, the love of music allows the characters to see past their differences and form an unlikely bond in a single night. The musical was adapted from the 2007 film and has been nominated for 11 Tony Awards.

From the first note strummed on the oud, Yazbek’s nominated score transports the Tiny Desk to the Middle East with traditional instrumentation and melodies, and weaves in beautiful theatrical ballads.

Among the cast are Tony Shalhoub (known for his TV roles in Monk and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Broadway veteran Katrina Lenk (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Once and Indecent). They both have been nominated for their lead performances.

Although it’s a Broadway smash hit, it lacks the opulent, bring-down-the-house song and dance numbers. It’s a more intimate show with some universal messages that fit the up, close and personal space of the Tiny Desk.

The Band’s Visit insists that it’s OK, even essential, to get “stuck” with strangers who have different perspectives. It serves as a poignant reminder that our common connection to music can rise above the noise of intolerance.

Yazbek’s poem Itgara’a, translated here from Arabic and sung a cappella by Tony Shalhoub, sums up the show’s philosophy:

When you drink, drink deeply.

Drink deeply of the moonlight

drink deeply of the dark

of the loneliness

of the joy.

You will never drain the moonlight

you can never end the dark.

In your eyes, the flash of joy

in your mouth, the sweet shock of honey.

You are the joy

you are the loneliness.

Drink deep.

MUSICIANS
Harvey Valdes (oud / guitar), Garo Yellin (cello), Sam Sadigursky (clarinets), Ossama Farouk (darbuka / frame drum), Alexandra Eckhardt (bass), Andrea Grody (piano), David Yazbek (composer / host), Katrina Lenk (“Dina” / vocals), Kristen Sieh (“Iris” / vocals), Adam Kantor (“Telephone Guy” / vocals), Tony Shalhoub (“Tewfiq” / vocals), George Abud (“Camal” / violin / vocals)

SET LIST
“Soraya”
“Omar Sharif”
“Itgara’a”
“Haj-Butrus”
“Answer Me”

CREDITS
Producers: Josh Rogosin, Morgan Noelle Smith, Tom Huizenga, Jeff Rogers; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, James Willetts; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Niki Walker, Bronson Arcuri, Maia Stern; Production Assistant: Stefanie Fernández; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Pathetic Loser Seb Gorka Clumsily Photoshops a Fox News Biz Card OK, I know this week's theme seems to be how Trump hires mental defects, shitheels, liars, thieves, perverts & mouth-breathing racists. Here comes a guy who checks a lot of those boxes: President Donald Trump’s former aide Sebastian Gorka ...
Khal Wimpo (the extinguisher of tiki torches)
8 hours, 21 minutes ago
Views: 81 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Abolish ICE — and the DEA Too Kathleen Frydl, Vox: Abolish ICE — and the DEA too Left unchecked, the egregious harms imposed by ICE — deportations that do more to disrupt than protect American communities; the ill-conceived preference for immigration detention executed via a system ...
Big Beautiful Door
15 hours, 35 minutes ago
Views: 203 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 13 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
Daily Beast - Flat Earthers Call Trump’s Space Force Idea ‘Impossible’ Not surprisingly, just about the only people who shouldn't be criticizing Trump's "Space Force" idea are doing so. "Of course" we all "know" full well every single government on Earth is involved in a massive cover up to hide ...
CriticalDragon1177
1 day ago
Views: 179 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 13 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Calexico - End of the World With You (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents Calexico performing "End Of The World With You" live in the KEXP studio. Recorded June 19, 2018. Host: MorganAudio Engineers: Martin H. Gonzalez & Julian MartlewCameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro, Scott Holpainen & Justin WilmoreEditor: Jim Beckmann ...
Thanos
1 day, 13 hours ago
Views: 98 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
LSD - Thunderclouds (Official Audio) Ft. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth Labrinth, Sia & Diplo present LSD - Thunderclouds (Official Audio) Stream "Thunderclouds" now: smarturl.itSpotify: smarturl.itiTunes: smarturl.itApple Music: smarturl.itAmazon Music: smarturl.it Learn more about LSD and sign up for the official mailing list: droppinglsd.com Lyrics: All I need is oneOne ...
Thanos
1 day, 13 hours ago
Views: 142 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Half•alive - Still Feel. [Music VIDEO] half•alive’s music video for ‘still feel.’ Save on Spotify : spoti.fi Apple Music : apple.coSoundcloud : SoundCloud find half•alive on… Instagram: instagr.amTwitter: @halfalivecoSpotify: spoti.fiSoundcloud: SoundCloudSite: halfalive.co Directed / Edited / Colored by : Josh TaylorDirector of Photography : Ryan ...
Thanos
1 day, 13 hours ago
Views: 134 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Bands and Artists I LoveSuperorganism. Your text to link...
The Artist Formerly Known as Irenicum
3 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 140 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Dave Grohl - Play (Official Video) PLAY more at play.roswellfilms.com Pre-order limited edition vinyl bundles and stream the song: smarturl.it “PLAY” by Dave Grohl celebrates the rewards and challenges of dedicating one’s life to playing and mastering a musical instrument. Part one opens with narrated ...
Thanos
4 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 141 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Seshen - Distant Heart (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents The Seshen performing "Distant Heart" live at The Little London Plane during Upstream Music Fest. Recorded June 1, 2018. Host: Kevin ColeAudio Engineer: Kevin SuggsCameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro & Justin WilmoreDirector: Scott HolpainenEditor: Alaia D'Alessandro kexp.orgtheseshen.comupstreammusicfest.com ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 591 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Retrograde PresidentProfit at any cost. American dream. President Trump. Blind destruction. BBC News: The Trump administration has overturned bans on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in US national wildlife refuges. ...
Dom
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 520 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0