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If you were to try and fit Erykah Badu into a neat little box, you might say she's a soul singer/songwriter and leave it at that.

But you'd fail to acknowledge her many other talents, from her work as an actress (Cider House Rules and the upcoming What Men Want), to her otherworldly grasp of social media, to her work helping babies into the world as a certified doula.

Right before the start of the second leg of his 2018 North America Tour, Dublin-hailing Dermot Kennedy stopped by NPR to play his very own Tiny Desk Concert. And before he left to back out on tour, he shared his personal bank of familiar music he likes to turn to when he's on the road.

Interview Highlights

On naming the playlist

Some folks around the NPR Music office said they felt an almost spiritual connection to Erykah Badu during her visit to the Tiny Desk. And that was before she and her band even played a single note. It came from the waft of earthly scents that followed in her wake, to the flowing dreads and clothes that hung on her like robes.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Jukebox the Ghost is the type of band you want to play your party. Why? For one, Because they're talented, but that's just table stakes. The second reason gets us a little closer. The band members are excellent entertainers, but even that doesn't really capture it. What I think is that singer/piano player Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel, drummer Jesse Kristin, enjoy each other's company. And when three friends are good at what they do, and having a lot of fun with each other doing it, we're in for a good time.

The history of jazz in the 20th century is well known, but the course of the genre in the 21st century is still being charted. According to Nate Chinen, music critic for NPR Music and WBGO, jazz in the new millennium has enjoyed a type of Renaissance thanks to some key players.

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