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Tiny Desk Concert: Kevin Kaarl

Singer-songwriter Kevin Kaarl applies his indie-drenched vocals with an entirely new vision at his Tiny Desk concert. Pairing folksy, trumpet rhythms with twangy banjo, the Chihuahuan artist transfigures traditional Sinaloan instrumentation into styles more recognizable among American folk bands.

Opening with "Me Va a Costar," twin brother and trumpet player Brian spins sweet harmony on the track. Transitioning to the guitar and banjo-driven, trumpet adorned "Te Quiero Tanto," Kaarl strings together romantic melodies with endlessly rich vibratos and stunning falsetto.

He switches to one of his earliest hits, the relentlessly romantic "Vámonos a Marte." "Vámonos de viaje a las estrellas y a Marte (Let's go on a trip to the stars and Mars)," he coos, "A olvidar nuestros problemas, tan punzantes (To forget our stinging problems)."

He pauses to leave a regalo (one of his boots, and he confirmed he walked home with one foot shoeless after doing so) and then ends with the folky "San Lucas" — a track fit for any indie king.

Multi-faceted in his lyricism and vocal abilities, Kevin Kaarl took his banda Sinaloense roots and shined in performing a style that virtually none in his part of the world are playing with, innovating and smiling all the while.

SET LIST

  • "Me Va a Costar"
  • "Te Quiero Tanto"
  • "Vámonos a Marte"
  • "San Lucas"


MUSICIANS

  • Kevin Hernández: vocals, guitar
  • Bryan Hernández: vocals, trumpet
  • Francisco Rueda: drums
  • Daniel Chaparro: bass
  • Ulises Villegas: guitar, banjo


TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Anamaria Sayre
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Zayrha Rodriguez, Maia Stern
  • Audio Assistant: Ted Mebane
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
  • Photographer: Catie Dull
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Hazel Cills
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anamaria Artemisa Sayre
Anamaria Artemisa Sayre is co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.