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Edmar Castaneda: Tiny Desk Concert

Edmar Castaneda is the sort of musician who isn't afraid to challenge the established order. He's carving out a place for himself in Latin jazz on an instrument you don't often hear in his chosen genre: the Colombian harp. He's adapted intricate traditional fingerpicking techniques to play jazz melodies along with the Afro-Cuban tumbao (bass line). As you can see and hear for yourself in this Tiny Desk Concert, he can switch between rural Colombian dance music and jazz with a twist of his wrist. Literally.

His musical vision is so invigorating that he's gaining fans like NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera, with whom Castaneda has performed. His Web site shows him constantly on the road as a guest artist with other forward thinkers, or with his latest touring trio, which consists of Castaneda, a drummer and a trombonist.

Castaneda recently parked himself behind Bob Boilen's desk and crafted a transporting mix of tradition and improvisation. Chances are, you've never heard anything like it.

To watch our most recent Tiny Desk Concert, featuring David Rawlings and Gillian Welch, click here.

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