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WMFE Hosts Celebration of Central Florida Musicians with “NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest: Orlando Favorites”



ORLANDO — WMFE is shining a spotlight on Central Florida favorites from NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest. 

Not even a pandemic could stop Orlando’s talented musicians from entering the national contest for undiscovered and unsigned musicians. Nearly 50 bands and solo acts from Central Florida sent in videos of original songs to the 2020 contest. 

WMFE staff narrowed it down to 14 of the very best, and now listeners will decide who plays a special on Facebook and on the air in June. 

Bands represent many genres and are from cities all over Central Florida.

Group Name Title Genre City
John Jacobs Granddaddy country New Smyrna Beach
Creme Lo Don’t Wait electronic Orlando
Amanda Lyn Love Me With Wings folk Orlando
Matt Shenk Band Lay Down Your Weapons folk Apopka
Adam Fusco Along This Road folk Melbourne
Jordan Foley Bully folk Sanford
Beemo Barricades folk Orlando
E-Turn What Is It All For? hip-hop Altamonte Springs
Scorpio Szn Five pop Kissimmee
Hallz Just Leave Me pop Maitland
Hayden Woollen Rollin r-and-b Orlando
Anisha & Von Lead The Way r-and-b Mt. Dora
Sugar City “Charlottesville” rock Orlando
Oklahoma Stackhouse Lost the Plot rock Winter Park

Pick your favorite at wmfe.org/tinydesk >>

Voting runs May 21-June 8. 

The top picks will be featured in:

“NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest: Orlando Favorites” Special

June 26 on the WMFE Facebook page & June 27 on 90.7-FM

The special virtual concert will premiere on the WMFE Facebook page at 7 p.m. on June 26 and on the air on June 27. It will be hosted by Nicole Darden Creston; host of All Things Considered and Spotlight, our arts, culture and entertainment segment; and Talia Blake, host of Morning Edition. The hosts will talk to the bands about their Tiny Desk videos, their creative process and how they’ve pivoted during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Music brings us together and this contest allows us to recognize our local musicians,” said Erika Pulley-Hayes, president and CEO of WMFE. “When the community watches the videos and our virtual event, they’ll experience a taste of Central Florida’s talent across musical genres.”

This is the third year of WMFE’s Tiny Desk Contest engagement to celebrate Central Florida’s music community. The past two years have culminated with physical events — the first at Timucua Arts Foundation and the second at The Abbey. What’s different this year, is to maintain social distancing guidelines and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made our event virtual.

We hope you’ll join us, vote and discover more about the music being made right in our backyard. Place your vote and then watch all of Central Florida’s entries on YouTube.

About The NPR Tiny Desk Contest:

For the past five years, The Tiny Desk Contest has brought together thousands of artists and bands from across the country. The rules are simple: unknown, unsigned bands and musicians ages 18 and older are invited to film themselves performing one song at a desk of their choice. The winner will play NPR’s famous Tiny Desk in Washington, D.C. before embarking on a virtual U.S. tour of concerts hosted by NPR Music in partnership with Member stations throughout the country. The Contest winners have gone on to tour the world, sign with major labels, open for legendary performers, and even receive Grammy awards.

About Community Communications Inc.:

Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Leesburg and The Golden Triangle. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information.

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MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Communications & Marketing Specialist Jenny Babcock at jbabcock@wmfe.org or 407-273-2300 ext. 112.