This year's program includes films like "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Black Panther" and performances from Colorado acts.
Contest winner Naia Izumi and three Colorado acts will perform May 31 at Globe Hall.
Jess Parsons released her debut solo record, "Murmuration," last week. The singer and ukulele player has been active in Denver's music scene as a member of Glowing House, Bluebook and Kyle Emerson's band. The five-song EP finds Parsons taking the traditional folk sound of her previous work in a more ethereal direction. Parsons stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play three songs from "Murmuration." She also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about recording the EP live to tape in Boulder, working on a collection of nursery rhymes with Julie Davis of Bluebook and how playing with other Denver bands influences her own work.
Los Mocochetes have become live favorites in Denver for their thrilling blend of percussion, guitars, horns and vocals that incorporates elements of Chicano rock and funk. The seven-piece band's songs feature politically minded lyrics, and it's easy for a listener to sing along to songs like "¡Que Viva Revolución!" Their entry to this year's Tiny Desk Contest from NPR Music was one of our favorite Colorado entries. Los Mocochetes stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before their Saturday night show at Larimer Lounge. The band members played four songs and spoke with Bruce Trujillo about coming up with their band name at Walmart, how they came to play protest music and winning Westword's "Best Latin Band" award last year.
Jamaal Curry writes hip-hop songs that hearken back to the genre's early days in the 1980s and '90s. The Fort Collins rapper and producer performs under the name Boss Eagle. He released his debut album, "The Firebird Album," late last year. Boss Eagle performed four songs from "The Firebird Album" in the CPR Performance Studio and donned some boxing attire for one of the songs (see above). Curry also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about writing a letter to Puff Daddy as a teenager, creating new verses for some of his favorite rap songs and the Colorado hip-hop scene.
NPR Music is getting ready to announce a winner soon. In the meantime, watch and read about 13 standout videos from Colorado submitted for this year's contest.
Mona Magno (aka Monalicious) is the singer-songwriter and baritone ukulele player behind Twin Flame Medicine. The Denver artist -- who also fronts Flowers of Mass Production -- and her band combine folk instruments with jazz grooves and soulful melodies. The band released its self-titled debut album last week. Twin Flame Medicine joined us in the CPR Performance Studio before the album's release. The band played four songs and Magno spoke with Alisha Sweeney about balancing various musical projects and recording the album in Fort Collins.
Stelth Ulvang somehow finds time to balance a solo music career with his demanding schedule as a member of Denver band The Lumineers. The Fort Collins native, who plays dozens of instruments, has released three records so far this year, the most recent of which is his solo sophomore LP, "American Boredom." Ulvang wrote and recorded the album over the course of three years during breaks from Lumineers tours. Ulvang and his band stopped into the CPR Performance Studio last week. He played four songs and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the political themes on "American Boredom," recording an EP in South Africa and opening for U2 with the Lumineers last year.
On the new EP "Each, After," Anna Morsett strips down the indie rock group's instrumentation for an intimate and ethereal sound.
There aren't any bands quite like The Milk Blossoms. The Denver trio combines ukulele, beatboxing and keys for a unique experimental pop sound. The band just released the new album "Dry Heave The Heavenly," which was recorded in part at Denver music nonprofit Youth On Record. The Milk Blossoms first played in the CPR Performance Studio in 2015, and we were pleased to welcome them back earlier this week. The band members played three songs from the new record and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about confronting mental health issues like depression and anxiety through music, why they recorded the album live to tape and the raw energy they bring to their concerts.