Ethel Tamara Sam Fisher
Since 2014, NPR Music has invited musicians to upload homey video performances to YouTube for consideration in their annual Tiny Desk Contest, the winner of which gets the opportunity to appear on the revered Tiny Desk series. In 2023 alone, nearly 6,000 artists applied.

Though none of this year’s 40 entries from Arkansas were awarded the top prize, NPR affiliate Little Rock Public Radio (a recent rebrand of KUAR and KLRE) concocted a way to honor our state’s talented applicants: Arkansas Tiny Desk Contest 2023. In partnership with KUAF-FM 91.3 Fayetteville and KASU-FM 91.9 Jonesboro, all of Arkansas’s submissions were reevaluated by a panel of statewide judges, whose job it was to narrow the pool down to their top three favorites.

Spanning folk, pop and R&B, the selected artists — Common Roots from Fayetteville, Ethel Tamara featuring Concrete Rose from Helena-West Helena and Lead Pipe Conservatory Band from Harrison — will perform at The Hall on Friday, Oct. 13.


To make things even more local, Little Rock Public Radio is collaborating with Lost Forty Brewing to create Tiny Desk Sessions, a new sour beer that will debut at the event before it’s available at their Little Rock taproom. Additionally, Arkansas Foodbank and Mosaic Templars Community Center will speak about their nonprofit efforts during the concert’s intermission.

The show begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are available here.