Suraya Mohamed

Suraya Mohamed is a three-time Peabody Award-winning producer, sound designer and editor. She currently serves as the project manager for Jazz Night In America and is a contributing producer on the Alt.Latino podcast. She also produces NPR's holiday specials package, including Tinsel Tales, Hanukkah Lights, Toast Of The Nation, Pink Martini's Joy To The World: A Holiday Spectacular and most recently Hamilton: A Story Of US. You'll also find her work on the Tiny Desk series as either a producer or engineer.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music's with degrees in Viola Performance and Recording Arts and Sciences, Mohamed specializes in music and technology. Her Tonmeister (German: "sound master") classification is punctuated by her experience working as both an engineer and a producer in many genres.

With a wide range of musical interests and experience, Mohamed played bass in a high school go-go band, has worked as a substitute violist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and currently performs with a Washington, D.C., indie-rock band.

Standing behind the Tiny Desk with only pianist Sullivan Fortner by her side, jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant remarked that she hadn't been this nervous in a while. But it was hard to tell: She embraced the discomfort with ease, taking command of the space with a calm demeanor and spiritual presence that felt both humble and persuasive.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts crowned four new NEA Jazz Masters, including Todd Barkan, a jazz advocate whose early interest in Latin jazz piano turned into a successful five-decade career as a prominent impresario, club owner and record producer. Guitarist Pat Metheny continues to redefine the parameters of his instrument through innovative technique and signature sound. Pianist Joanne Brackeen's unique style commands attention, and Dianne Reeves has become one of the world's preeminent jazz vocalists, whose genius in retrospect seems ceaseless.

Logan Richardson's latest project, Blues People, is a condition, a state of being. The album was derived from the early slave calls that inspired the earliest American jazz and blues musical traditions. Here at the Tiny Desk, the saxophonist revisits that history with four remarkable songs from the album, all performed with a hope that our country's future will be less painful than its past.

Rhythm is the foundation for many a musical experience. Its driving pulse yields a power that quite often demands movement - a toe to tap, a body to sway. But drummer Nate Smith provides more than just a beat. He intentionally weaves nuanced rhythmic counterpoint in and out of his catchy melodies and dulcet harmonies.

Just try to discern the multiple time signatures in the first tune, "Skip Step" Syncopated yet steady, its rhythmic motifs bolster Jon Cowherd's keyboard riff and the song's melodic statement, played in unison by saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and guitarist Jeremy Most.

For those who haven't had the good fortune to attend a jazz festival this summer, Jazz Night has a ticket just for you — section A, row 1 for The Robert Glasper Experiment.

To mark the end of Black History Month, it is only fitting to feature a song by an ultramodern band called Harriet Tubman, named after the celebrated abolitionist and activist who led hundreds of slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Tubman's birth name, Araminta, provides a suitable title for the band's latest album, which dropped Friday.

The New Year holiday tradition continues with the Toast of the Nation jazz party. Spirited, improvised and swinging, each hour was recorded live at Blue Note venues throughout the country and the world.