playlist

Live music, onstage at TED

We've cued up two hours of live music straight from the TED stage. Listen for a wide range of virtuoso musicians — on some very surprising instruments ...

  1. 8:38
    John Legend "Redemption Song"

    John Legend is on a mission to transform America's criminal justice system. Through his Free America campaign, he's encouraging rehabilitation and healing in our prisons, jails and detention centers — and giving hope to those who want to create a better life after serving their time. With a spoken-word prelude from James Cavitt, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, Legend treats us to his version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." "Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom?"

  2. 3:15
    David Byrne, Ethel + Thomas Dolby "(Nothing But) Flowers" with string quartet

    David Byrne sings the Talking Heads' 1988 hit, "(Nothing But) Flowers." He's accompanied by Thomas Dolby and string quartet Ethel, who made up the TED2010 house band.

  3. 14:44
    Blitz Bazawule "Wahala" / "Make You No Forget" / "Best I Can"

    Backed by his band the Mighty Embassy Ensemble, hip-hop artist, filmmaker and TED Fellow Samuel "Blitz" Bazawule delivers an electrifying, polyphonic performance of three songs: "Wahala," "Make You No Forget" and "Best I Can."

  4. 3:12
    Sierra Hull "Beautifully Out of Place"

    Bluegrass artist Sierra Hull plays her mandolin and sings an original song, reminding us that even amid fear and anxiety, beauty can still be found.

  5. 15:14
    Jacob Collier A one-man musical phenomenon

    Jacob Collier is a one-man band and force of nature. In a dynamic, colorful performance, he recreates the magical room at his home in London where he produces music, performing three songs in which he sings every part and plays every instrument — accompanied by kaleidoscopic visuals that take cues from the music and grow in real time.

  6. 9:34
    Rufus Wainwright "Peaceful Afternoon" / "Going To A Town"

    Musical artist and songwriter Rufus Wainwright performs two enchanting original songs: a gorgeous love song written for his husband and performed on acoustic guitar and a haunting performance on piano.

  7. 6:26
    Bill T. Jones The dancer, the singer, the cellist ... and a moment of creative magic

    Legendary dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and TED Fellows Joshua Roman and Somi didn't know exactly what was going to happen when they took the stage at TED2015. They just knew they wanted to offer the audience an opportunity to witness creative collaboration in action. The result: An improvised piece they call "The Red Circle and the Blue Curtain," so extraordinary it had to be shared ...

  8. 25:17
    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."

  9. 19:11
    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."

  10. 6:28
    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.

  11. 9:21
    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.

  12. 16:40
    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.

  13. 3:21
    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."