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Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Bootsy Collins
Where: Cincinnati, Ohio
Recommendation: Gratitude


During this quarantine, I've had the opportunity to complete work on a few important projects, including recording a funk version of Indiana University's "Fight Song."

Every working musician has a story to tell about the upending jolt of this spring, when the pandemic officially took hold. For pianist Brad Mehldau, that story begins with the interruption of his trio's European tour, and the cancelation of a planned trip back to New York.

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When John Prine died on April 7 due to complications from COVID-19, he didn't just leave behind a rich recorded legacy.

The shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic hit musicians hard, with concert halls and rehearsal spaces shuttered and silent. But a new music initiative from the Library of Congress embraces the constraints of COVID-19. The series is a collection of 10 videos of 10 different original compositions that will premiere online starting Monday, June 15. It's called the Boccaccio Project.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Emma Bowers
Where: Burlington, Vt.
Recommendation: Quilting

Face shields are critical gear for those on the front line of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But like other pieces of PPE, they often still aren't available. But one volunteer group, using 3D printers at home, has made nearly 40,000 NIH-approved face shields for health care workers and first responders — from New Jersey to the Navajo Nation.

June 8, 2020, Washington, D.C. — NPR Music is thrilled to announce Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf, a weekly live video stream listening party featuring this year's top Tiny Desk Contest entries hosted by Bob Boilen, Contest judges, and NPR Member station DJs. Tune into the series kicking off on Thursday June 11 and then every Thursday until July 30.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Margaret Glaspy

Where: Nashville, Tenn.

Recommendation: Teaching and learning

Even in the best of times, many look to live music as a crucial resource — a place to turn for comfort, community and relief from anxiety — and can scarcely imagine their lives without it. For the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has closed down venues around the country, and it's hard to picture when gathering in nightclubs or amphitheaters will be deemed safe again.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Don Bryant

Where: Memphis, Tenn.

Recommendation: Picking up an instrument and playing your favorite songs

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Kimmel and Colbert, Bee and Fallon et al., pay attention: Elmo did not come to play.

Bright Eyes has shared "One and Done," the third single released in anticipation of the band's forthcoming new album, set for release sometime this year.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Rhiannon Giddens

Where: Limerick, Ireland

Recommendation: Making homemade pasta

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Jimmy Cobb, whose subtle and steady drumming formed the pulse of some of jazz's most beloved recordings, died at his home in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 91.

The cause was lung cancer, says his wife, Eleana Tee Cobb.

Cobb was the last surviving member of what's often called Miles Davis' First Great Sextet. He held that title for almost three decades, serving as a conduit for many generations of jazz fans into the band that recorded the music's most iconic and enduring album, Kind of Blue.

Here is the story of how Moby got his second neck tattoo: In early September of 2019, on the eve of his 54th birthday, the electronic music producer born Richard Melville Hall was having lunch at the vegan restaurant in Los Angeles that he owns, Little Pine. When a pal asked Moby how he intended to celebrate, another responded with a quick quip before he could answer: "Get a tattoo."

Damien Jurado will admit he has a bit of an addictive personality. In the past two months while stuck at home in Washington state, he's channeled that energy into songwriting. Jurado says he's already written three distinctly different albums in isolation, and that's on top of What's New, Tomboy, the record he already had in the can and that just came out on May 1.

"I don't know what moderation is," he explains.

Rachel Portman has been scoring films since the 1980s, and in 1997 became the first woman ever to win an Oscar for best original score for her work on Douglas McGrath's Emma. Since then, Portman has scored dozens more films and TV shows, but is now stepping away from the screen with ask the river, her first album of music not written for a movie, TV show or stage production.

"There were hardly any female film composers," Portman says of winning an Oscar at that time.

Turning the Tables is NPR's ongoing multi-platform series dedicated to recentering the popular music canon on voices that have been marginalized, underappreciated, or hidden in plain sight. In 2020, we will publish an occasional series looking closely at the careers of significant women in music, treasured albums or significant scenes. Find all Turning the Tables content here.

In a world starved of roars of applause, hollers from excitable concertgoers and the warm, worn acoustics of venerated music venues, Margo Price has shared a relic of times gone by with her new live album, Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Kathy Valentine

Where: Austin, Texas

Recommendation: Making space

If there was ever a time when the world as a whole could use the rush of pure joy that accompanies a new Carly Rae Jepsen album, it's now. Thankfully, the reigning Canadian queen of pop delivered, releasing Dedicated Side B, a counterpart to 2019's Dedicated, this morning via Spotify and Apple Music.

Do you remember the way you reacted when you first witnessed Kendall Roy's rap tribute to his father, Logan Roy, on the second season of HBO's Succession? Were you like younger brother Roman, in denial of what you were seeing, or more of a Shiv, laughing along? Or a Cousin Greg, tentatively taking it all in?

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Bebel Gilberto
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Recommendation: Beach time at home


Most people who know me know how important the beach has always been to my life and happiness.

When Jason Molina died in 2013, the 39-year-old singer-songwriter left behind a mountain of works: wrenching solo albums, released under his own name and as Songs: Ohia, as well as louder electric recordings with his band Magnolia Electric Co. In 2007, Molina had amassed such a backlog of unreleased songs that he by

If I knew what the future held, then it wouldn't be the future. But still, somehow, right now, with the world aswirl and upside-down and as I'm learning what it's like to live during a pandemic, I find that I'm compelled more than ever to look back in time. What better place to dig into nostalgia than the Tiny Desk archives? I loved all five of these solo performances, as each one makes me feel like I was right there in the room with them.

Moses Sumney spent years searching for the sound on his new, double album grae. It began in 2013, when he first tried to break into the Los Angeles music scene — and got interest from record labels almost immediately.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Phoebe Bridgers

Where: Los Angeles, Calif.

Recommendation: Sending the text or making the call that you've been putting off

Before they became world-famous mop-top icons, the Beatles looked like a bunch of greasers. And photographer Astrid Kirchherr is often credited as the first to capture the band's fashion evolution as well as influencing their new direction.

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