Rokia Traoré: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

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Every January, I attend globalFEST at a New York City nightclub and see some of the most fantastic music I'll experience all year. Now, given the pandemic's challenges and the hardening of international borders, NPR Music and globalFEST moved the 2021 edition from the nightclub to your screen of choice and shared the festival with the world. We called it Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST. We presented 16 artists in intimate settings (often behind desks donning globes), all hosted by African superstar Angélique Kidjo.
Rokia Traoré performed at globalFEST in 2005, the music festival's second year, and it's a thrill to present her meditative performance as part of Tiny Desk meets globalFEST. Her work is rooted in the Malian musical tradition, but defies the confines of a single culture. Born in Mali to a diplomat father, Traoré had a nomadic upbringing that exposed her to a wide variety of international musical influences. She joins us from Blues Faso, a theater inside her Foundation Passerelle in Mali, which she created to support emerging, interdisciplinary artists, from music and the performing arts to visual arts and photography.
"Wolves Don't Live by the Rules"
Elisapie: vocals
Jean-Sébastien Williams: guitar
Joshua Toal: bass
Jason Sharp: saxophone
Robbie Kuster: drums
Producer: Edwin Perez
Video: Francis Maheu, Dominic Boudreau
Audio: Alexandre Fallu, Pierre Girard
Production Coordinator: Sophie Bernier-Blanchette
Artistic Director, Lights: Julie Basse
Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST
Producer: Bob Boilen
Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Maia Stern
Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
Co-Directors: Shanta Thake, Isabel Soffer, and Bill Bragin
2021 Curators: Shanta Thake, Isabel Soffer, Bill Bragin, and Viviana Benitez
Event Producer: Ian Thake
Host: Angélique Kidjo
Social Media Manager: Valerie French
Publicity: Brendan Gilmartin, Chart Room Media
Legal Services: Tamizdat
Legal Services: Duane Morris
Producer: THE OFFICE performing arts + film
Video Production: MODEMA Studios


  1. Elise Gaffga
    Elise Gaffga
    3 dagen geleden

    She is SO elegant

  2. Elise Gaffga
    Elise Gaffga
    3 dagen geleden


  3. kolemijn
    14 dagen geleden

    Do you know whose picture is there on the desk next to the guitar?

  4. Edi Care
    Edi Care
    25 dagen geleden

    Mandingo music .... just simply good .

  5. Natalie Harris
    Natalie Harris
    26 dagen geleden

    Yeeeeesssss such a beautiful, pure, voice!

  6. Michele De Musso
    Michele De Musso
    Maand geleden

    The name of the musicians is wrong! :(

  7. Алексей Алексеевич
    Алексей Алексеевич
    Maand geleden


  8. Tom Barron
    Tom Barron
    Maand geleden

    Very nice👍👍👍😎

  9. tristan durant
    tristan durant
    Maand geleden

    Beautiful ! She has a magical voice. Love it !! FYI There is a book of Amadou Hampâté Bâ « Amkoullel l’enfant Peul » (I think) behind her, he is a very important Malian writer from the 20th century. A must read !!

  10. L K
    L K
    Maand geleden

    Malian, Senegambia and Hausa/Gnawa traditional Music are my favourite types of African music. The rhythm, melody and vocals are just so perfect!

  11. Ayana Price
    Ayana Price
    Maand geleden

    I don’t know what she’s saying but I can’t stop listening. It’s beautiful ❤️❤️

  12. LoLa Koria
    LoLa Koria
    Maand geleden

    Beautiful woman with beautiful voice. Impressive!

  13. Sara Bruxada
    Sara Bruxada
    Maand geleden

    Traditional music is on another level. It heals soul, it touches souls with instruments and frequencies.Muchas bendiciones 🙏🏾

  14. Janne Harkio
    Janne Harkio
    Maand geleden


  15. Belleza Vudd
    Belleza Vudd
    Maand geleden

    Beautiful sounds!! ❤ Is it just me , or is that desk not so tiny today. Nice space they have.

  16. Sylvie Lopez-salinas
    Sylvie Lopez-salinas
    Maand geleden

    Thank you tiny desk for sharing this beautiful song from Africa a beautiful voice en very good musicians many thanks you muchissimas gracias

  17. RodrigoCL
    Maand geleden

    Malian music is close to my heart

  18. Gilles DesRosiers
    Gilles DesRosiers
    Maand geleden

    It sounds like she’s just making up words. I’m so s.m.r.t.🤪

    1. Lualaba
      Maand geleden

      She's singing in Bambara, her mother tongue.

  19. Reenald
    Maand geleden

    Awesome music and nice tribute to the band member.

  20. awrebyawe
    Maand geleden

    This was beautiful!!

  21. 301 sourei
    301 sourei
    Maand geleden


  22. Portia Adams
    Portia Adams
    Maand geleden

    I used to hear a Malian musician most evenings getting off the A train it was so true, makes me want to cry.

  23. Katelyn Adams
    Katelyn Adams
    Maand geleden

    Isn't it beautiful how music finds a way of communicating without shared language present. Shes singing about love of the purest form. Such a lovely vibration

  24. Capgpro1
    Maand geleden

    Her voice is mesmerizing.

  25. johngallaghermusic
    Maand geleden

    I first heard Rokia at The Afrika fest in Hertme a few years ago (on youtube) and really enjoyed her and the band then. Her voice has really matured into a very fine and powerful singer. She sounds like one of the greats like Omou Sangare etc. This performance is amazing.

  26. Sergio Maiale
    Sergio Maiale
    Maand geleden

    Que belleza!!!❤️🌞🇦🇷✌️

  27. Karen Diers
    Karen Diers
    Maand geleden

    Thank you!

  28. Tomás
    Maand geleden

    Wonderful music, but seems the list of musicians may not be right👍✌️😊🙏🏼🎵🎶🎵🎶🎶🎵

    1. Bill Bragin
      Bill Bragin
      Maand geleden

      Good point - it's actually the partial credits from Elisapie's equally amazing Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST set. We'll make sure to update.

  29. TiWanTiWa Abibiman
    TiWanTiWa Abibiman
    Maand geleden

    This is BLACKTASTIQUE and a great idea/way to restructure globalFEST!!! In the description about the musicians you seem to have left out the balafon player and the musician on the far left playing the "ngoni"..

    1. Bill Bragin
      Bill Bragin
      Maand geleden

      Good point - it's actually the partial credits from Elisapie's equally amazing Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST set. We'll make sure to update.

  30. Ivete Tomaz
    Ivete Tomaz
    Maand geleden

    Brasil assistindo.

  31. Chris A
    Chris A
    Maand geleden

    I love this!

  32. VaqueiroAruanda
    Maand geleden

    FINALLY! Can't believe it took NPR so long to get this amazing artist on...

  33. Julio Basle
    Julio Basle
    Maand geleden

    Hermosa música y la voz bellísima!

  34. Юрий Бутич
    Юрий Бутич
    Maand geleden

    Класс !!

  35. boranbat
    Maand geleden

    I was lucky enough to see her first (free) concert in NYC, I think it was 2000 or 2001 just outside the Lincoln Theater, warm beautiful feelings come back when I think of that day...

    1. Bill Bragin
      Bill Bragin
      Maand geleden

      Lincoln Center Out of Doors was her first NY show! I was there too!

    2. boranbat
      Maand geleden

      Thank you tiny desk : ))

  36. Shine baby shine
    Shine baby shine
    Maand geleden

    Gorgeous 💙

  37. John Barnes
    John Barnes
    Maand geleden

    Seen her perform a few years ago in Scotland, loved her then still love her now.

  38. Amanda Feliciano
    Amanda Feliciano
    Maand geleden

    The setlist and musicians are wrong in description lol

  39. Brunello de Bonluì
    Brunello de Bonluì
    Maand geleden

    Rokia ,emoción y belleza musical que traspasa con un flechazo el corazón, gracias

  40. Laknouz
    Maand geleden


  41. annie Bell
    annie Bell
    Maand geleden

    The Malian tiny desk has wonderful pictures adorning it.

  42. Erika Cristina
    Erika Cristina
    Maand geleden

    Muito rainha.👸

  43. John of arc
    John of arc
    Maand geleden

    Allways reminds me of those early morning acts on the womad stage at Glastonbury. When it was a proper festival

  44. Silkina Jackson
    Silkina Jackson
    Maand geleden

    Yaaaaassss this is healing music! I have no idea what she's singing about could be rice & beans for all my conscience mind knows. My SPIRIT is moved like the music is touching me on a cellular level easing the physical pain I woke up with!! Healing indeed💙💙💙

    1. diary
      Maand geleden

      She's singing about God , kind and the world

  45. Angel Gold
    Angel Gold
    Maand geleden


  46. D0nnerknispel
    Maand geleden

    are you sure, that the musicians mentioned in the video description are the right ones?

    1. Bill Bragin
      Bill Bragin
      Maand geleden

      Good point - it's actually the partial credits from Elisapie's equally amazing Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST set. We'll make sure to update.

    2. Amanda Feliciano
      Amanda Feliciano
      Maand geleden

      Nope lol

    3. THE MBZ
      THE MBZ
      Maand geleden


  47. Sean Meister
    Sean Meister
    Maand geleden

    wow that last song is a bit mesmerizing. great groove between all the musicians.

  48. kevin farquhar
    kevin farquhar
    Maand geleden

    Beautiful healing music, Rokia Traore

  49. Tiago Novaes
    Tiago Novaes
    Maand geleden

    We always expect great and spiritual vibrations when Rokia stay present on stage!!!! 🔥🔥🔥 Trespassing our souls like a fluid river...

  50. Kadia Huchet
    Kadia Huchet
    Maand geleden

    Malian pride 🇲🇱 ✊🏾!

  51. Mouna
    Maand geleden

    As a Gambian and someone who grew up with Malian music, this made me smile so hard. I love her voice so much! Masha’Allah🤍

    1. Answer Question
      Answer Question
      28 dagen geleden

      Pls translate lyric. It was lit

  52. Living Your Best life!
    Living Your Best life!
    Maand geleden

    Rokia wow 😳 what a talent!

    Maand geleden

    International fans are here??? Pls♥

    1. Michal Brys
      Michal Brys
      14 dagen geleden

      Poland ! always in love in Rokia since 2012

    2. Freddy Again
      Freddy Again
      Maand geleden

      With Love and Passion for Music from The Netherlands

    3. David Hoy
      David Hoy
      Maand geleden


    4. BrutSalvadi
      Maand geleden

      Italian here :)

    5. Hannu Rikkaartipoika
      Hannu Rikkaartipoika
      Maand geleden

      Australia. Cheers.

  54. Pentameron
    Maand geleden

    0:00 - *Souba Lé* [2:35 / 3:02] - *Tiramakan* 10:51 - *Fakoly* [14:51 - Tiny Desk Team]

    1. Tyrone Dunigan
      Tyrone Dunigan
      Maand geleden

      Is there a reason for the discrepancy with the set list?

    2. Bill Bragin
      Bill Bragin
      Maand geleden

      @A M It's a traditional griot song. She may not have recorded it previously.

    3. A M
      A M
      Maand geleden

      Mm. Couldn’t find the first song on Apple Music nor Spotify :(. First time hearing this & im in tune with it

  55. Paul Fender
    Paul Fender
    Maand geleden


  56. John Connor
    John Connor
    Maand geleden

    Just wanted to comment here to proudly share that I've been sober for 490 days.

    1. Neil Sarath
      Neil Sarath
      15 dagen geleden

      Stay strong bro. 💪💪👍

    2. Dia H
      Dia H
      Maand geleden

      Great for you ❤️

    3. august88837
      Maand geleden

      Iam going to d liquor store do u want anything

    4. kia smith
      kia smith
      Maand geleden

      WAy to go!!! Keep it going

    5. Nyasa K
      Nyasa K
      Maand geleden

      I am so proud of you and happy for you!! Please know you deserve all the goodness life has to offer. You are so worthy of it all. Keep showing up for yourself in every second of every day. When the second is a difficult one, get still and take deep breaths as you say, “I am worthy. I deserve all the goodness life has to offer”. Do this until the challenging moment goes away. Excited for you!!!

  57. Mr Grandi
    Mr Grandi
    Maand geleden


  58. jasmine Milbrath
    jasmine Milbrath
    Maand geleden

    I love this so much

  59. Eric Franklin Tavares
    Eric Franklin Tavares
    Maand geleden

    Rokia 🤩🤩 -EFT

    Maand geleden