Pamelia Kurstin The untouchable music of the theremin
Virtuoso Pamelia Kurstin performs and discusses her theremin, the not-just-for-sci-fi electronic instrument that is played without being touched. Songs include "Autumn Leaves," "Lush Life" and David Mash’s "Listen, Words Are Gone."
Joey Alexander An 11-year-old prodigy performs old-school jazz
Raised listening to his dad's old records, Joey Alexander plays a brand of sharp, modern piano jazz that you likely wouldn't expect to hear from a pre-teenager. Listen as the 11-year-old delights the TED crowd with his very special performance of a Thelonious Monk classic.
Kaki King Playing "Pink Noise" on guitar
Kaki King, the first female on Rolling Stone's "guitar god" list, rocks out to a full live set at TED2008, including her breakout single, "Playing with Pink Noise." Jaw-dropping virtuosity meets a guitar technique that truly stands out.
Usman Riaz + Preston Reed A young guitarist meets his hero
Usman Riaz is a 21-year-old whiz at the percussive guitar, a style he learned to play by watching his heroes on YouTube. The TED Fellow plays onstage at TEDGlobal 2012 — followed by a jawdropping solo from the master of percussive guitar, Preston Reed. And watch these two guitarists take on a very spur-of-the-moment improv.
Natalie MacMaster Cape Breton fiddling in reel time
Violinist Natalie MacMaster and TED Musical Director Thomas Dolby play Dolby's original song "Blue Is a River" in this ethereal duet — with a little dancing.
David Holt The joyful tradition of mountain music
Folk musician and storyteller David Holt plays the banjo and shares photographs and old wisdom from the Appalachian Mountains. He also demonstrates some unusual instruments like the mouth bow — and a surprising electric drum kit he calls "thunderwear."
Robert Gupta + Joshua Roman On violin and cello, "Passacaglia"
It's a master class in collaboration as violinist Robert Gupta and cellist Joshua Roman perform Halvorsen's "Passacaglia" for violin and viola. Roman takes the viola part on his Stradivarius cello. It's powerful to watch the two musicians connect moment to moment (and recover from a mid-performance hiccup). The two are both TED Fellows, and their deep connection powers this sparkling duet.
Ahn Trio A modern take on piano, violin, cello
The three Ahn sisters (cellist Maria, pianist Lucia, violinist Angella) breathe new life into the piano trio with their passionate musicmaking. At TEDWomen, they start with the bright and poppy "Skylife," by David Balakrishnan, then play a gorgeous, slinky version of "Oblivion," by Astor Piazzolla.
Sivamani Rhythm is everything, everywhere
Percussionist Sivamani delivers one of TED's liveliest and most inventive performances yet. He uses traditional Western and Eastern instruments to create a rhythmic tour de force, along with a tub of water, corrugated metal, spoons, luggage, our stage props and even a little audience participation.
Rachelle Garniez "La Vie en Rose"
Featuring the vocals and mischievous bell-playing of accordionist and singer Rachelle Garniez, the TED House Band — led by Thomas Dolby on keyboard — delivers this delightful rendition of the Edith Piaf standard "La Vie en Rose."