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Want Some Encouragement? Watch Kirk Franklin’s Fantastic Tiny Desk Concert

Over the years, NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts have consistently turned out amazing performances from a wide ranging list of artists. 

The series is so popular because it’s a chance to see huge artists perform their hits largely stripped of the polish we’re used to. (Who can forget the moment we all learned T-Pain is actually a great singer without his signature auto tune?)

This month, Tiny Desk has been doing a special emphasis on Black music to celebrate Black History Month, and the series capped off with a performance by gospel great Kirk Franklin today.

Set up with his band and choir in a corner of Arlington, Texas, studio Uncle Jessie’s Kitchen, Franklin’s enthusiasm and joke-cracking sets a fun tone for the quarantine-era worship performance.

“I know you’re at home right now, sitting in your drawers, listening to some Jesus music. It’s OK—Jesus loves you in your draws! Those are your drawers! He blessed you with those draws!” he jokes at one point.

Tiny Desk Producer Bobby Carter said this about the performance:

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“All month long, we’ve presented artists that speak to the diversity and complexity of Black music—where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going. Here, he and his powerhouse choir pace through a decades-long, sixteen Grammy award winning discography of faith, praise and encouragement while cracking plenty of jokes. I cannot recall a more moving Tiny Desk home performance.”

We agree with that last sentence. If the 15-minute performance doesn’t encourage and move you, you might be dead.

SET LIST

  • Love Theory
  • Silver and Gold
  • Melodies From Heaven
  • I Smile

MUSICIANS

  • Kirk Franklin: vocals, keys
  • Melodie Pace: vocals
  • Darian Elliot: vocals
  • Michael Bethany: vocals
  • Eboni Ellerson: vocals
  • Deon Yancey: vocals
  • Tia Rudd: vocals
  • Shaun Martin: keyboard
  • Matthew Ramsey: bass
  • Terry Baker: drums, percussion

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