New Orleans band Tank and the Bangas won this year’s Tiny Desk Contest. Their winning entry — a video filmed in a classroom for the song “Quick” — introduced viewers to their funk-soul-spoken-word style and the rapid-fire storytelling of Tarriona “Tank” Ball, who has a background in poetry slams. The group’s music is rich in wordplay and narrative, and songs start and end with Ball’s obvious delight in telling a story.

NPR Music brought the band to Portland for an event last week, and the band stopped by our studio in the afternoon for a performance and interview. Watch the performances above, and listen to the interview below with opbmusic’s Laura Hardin.


Audio recording and mixes Steven Kray with Zack Carver-Gustin; technical assistance from William Ward and Randy Layton
Editor Jarratt Taylor
Videographers Jarratt Taylor, Bryan M. Vance
Interview Laura Hardin
Executive Producer David Christensen