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Omar Apollo: Tiny Desk Concert

From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Tiny Desk is celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with an "El Tiny" takeover, featuring Jessie Reyez, Susana Baca and more musicians from all corners of Latinidad.

What a way to get our second annual El Tiny series going! Omar Apollo kicks off Latinx Heritage Month with a full-band rendition of "En El Olvido," backed by Las Mariachis Lindas, as he channels a childhood spent listening to Juan Gabriel into his performance of the Mexican corrido.

In the eternal wisdom of Alt.Latino co-host Anamaria Sayre, it's not a Mexican party until someone starts crying, and Apollo embraces esta melancolía as the band slips into the easy R&B number "Evergreen." "We're about to get more sad," he says to the crowd with a grin.

Despite the heartbreak and unrequited love songs, there's a sense of ease in this Tiny Desk concert — an easy camaraderie among the group as the members sing through "Evergreen" and "Petrified" before finishing with the (slightly) more upbeat "Endlessly." El corazón puede estar adolorido, but in community, the pain never seems hopeless.

As Apollo's Tiny Desk comes to an end, he offers the audience a homework assignment for self-improvement, for putting the negative behind you and making yourself available to participate in building community: "I want y'all to think about something," he says. "I want you to go home, I want you to meditate and I want you to just burn the bridge." He laughs. "I'm playing!" But as his and the band's joyful energy attests, in the world of Omar Apollo, there's only room for building each other up.


  • "En El Olvido"
  • "Evergreen"
  • "Petrified"
  • "Endlessly"

  • Omar Apollo: vocals
  • Jonah Feingold: guitar
  • Jackson Shanks: drums
  • Manny Barajas: bass
  • Harrison Hawkins: keys, music director
  • Astyn Turrentine: vocals
  • Phylicia Hill: vocals
  • Brian Antonio Gazo Martinez: vocals
  • Fabian Anthony Chavez: saxophone
  • Marcus Clayton Paul: trumpet
  • Silvia Estrada: guitarrón
  • Mayra Martínez: guitarrón

  • Producer: Anamaria Sayre
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin 
  • Director: Kara Frame
  • Creative Director: Bob Boilen 
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter 
  • Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Animator: Alanté Serene
  • Videographers: Kara Frame, Joshua Bryant, Pierre Kattar
  • Audio Assistant: Hannah Copeland
  • Production Assistants: Jill Britton, Alanté Serene, Joby Tanseco
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Maia Stern
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Corrected: September 15, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT
    An earlier version of this story incorrectly credited Oscar Santander as the guitarist in this performance. It is Jonah Feingold.
    Fi O'Reilly Sánchez
    Fi O'Reilly is a production assistant for Alt.Latino.