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NPR Tiny Desk Winner Gaelynn Lea Says Contest Changed Her Life

Gaelynn Lea
Gaelynn Lea

Gaelynn Lea of Duluth, Minnesota rose to national attention last year as winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. Listeners from across the country submitted their recordings to NPR Music with hopes of winning a spot on the national broadcast. Despite thousands of other entries, Lea was the unanimous choice of the judges, with a unique style combining traditional fiddle music with contemporary electronic loops, as well as an inspiring story.

Her performance a year ago on the NPR Music show changed her life forever, sparking a national tour that is now bringing her to the San Joaquin Valley for a performance Thursday at 7:00 PM at Bitwisein downtown Fresno. She joined us on Valley Edition to talk about how her life has changed, how she developed her unique approach to playing the violin and how she hopes to use her platform to speak as a disability rights advocate. We also hear some selections from her new EP "The Songs We Sing Along the Way." 



Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of KVPR / Valley Public Radio. He has led the station through major programming changes, the launch of KVPR Classical and the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership the station was named California Non-Profit of the Year by Senator Melissa Hurtado (2019), and won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting (2022).