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Tiny Desk Top Shelf Video Series Launches June 11

NPR Music launches 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 on Thursday June 11 and then every Thursday until July 30.

Over the past five years, thousands of musicians from across all 50 states have submitted their videos to NPR's Tiny Desk Contest in the hopes of being chosen to perform as part of NPR Music's signature music discovery series. On Top Shelf, the hosts will play their top picks of this year and discuss what made these entries stand out. Fans and music lovers around the world can tune in live to watch and join the discussion. The series will be available on YouTube and on NPR.org.

Top Shelf aims to connect with the Tiny Desk Contest community in an intimate setting that celebrates the love of music discovery. "I love the idea of everyone watching these remarkable Contest entries together online and reacting in real time: it's a thrilling idea to me." said Bob Boilen, creator of the Tiny Desk series.

The eight-episode series will lead up to the announcement of the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest winner. The winner will still be interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered and perform at the iconic Tiny Desk at NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C. at a later date.

"The Tiny Desk series has always been able to capture the magic and intimacy of live performance, and I'm so excited to see what these new musicians bring now, when we need that magic and feeling of togetherness more than ever" said Raina Douris, Tiny Desk Contest judge and host of WXPN's World Cafe. "Looking forward to feeling that buzz in the (chat)room when we all realize we might be watching the next big star!"

"Finding a new artist and new music that moves me is like finding a pearl in an oyster" said Tariq Moody, Tiny Desk Contest judge, music host and digital manager for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. "I can't wait to see what pearls we uncover this year."

You can watch all the videos from this year's entrants and featured entries on NPR Music's All Songs Considered blog. The 2020 Tiny Desk Contest winner will be announced

Val Hoeppner is the executive director of WMOT 89.5, executive producer of Wired In, 895 Fest, 895 Sessions, 895 Feast and the AmericanaFest Day Stage presented by WMOT, World Cafe and NPR Music. Hoeppner joined WMOT in 2014 and helped transition WMOT from mixed format to American Roots in 2016.