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They performed with Bono and The Edge (after their parents told them who they are)

Kirsten Holmes and Jevon Skipper shared the Tiny Desk space with the U2 stars.
Brianna Scott
/
NPR
Kirsten Holmes and Jevon Skipper shared the Tiny Desk space with the U2 stars.

Or perhaps Bono and The Edge performed with them.

Who are they? A gaggle of D.C.'s most talented teens! The members of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts concert choir joined Bono and The Edge for their Tiny Desk performance.

  • Kirsten Holmes and Jevon Skipper are both students at the arts-centered school in Washington, D.C, and received a call from their choir director about a month earlier with the opportunity to join the rock stars in performing. 
  • The two vocalists, who aspire to use their talents to dip into the worlds of gospel, opera and R&B music, agreed to the performance with a few other classmates and members of the choir. 
  • What's the big deal? It's a Tiny Desk! Enough said, right?

  • The performance features four songs, including a version of "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," written for the late INXS singer Michael Hutchence, and a reworked version of "Walk On." 
  • The performance was a preview of U2's new album, Songs Of Surrender. 
  • Though that may not have immediately impressed Kirsten and Jevon as much as some others. The Gen Z duo admitted they weren't very familiar with the Irish crooners and their band. 
  • (I guess they never had to deal with the shock of an unsolicited album showing up on their iTunes one fateful morning in 2014.) 
  • The Duke Ellington School of the Arts choir perform with Bono and The Edge in the Tiny Desk concert.
    Estefania Mitre / NPR
    /
    NPR
    The Duke Ellington School of the Arts choir perform with Bono and The Edge in the Tiny Desk concert.

    What are they saying?

    On learning about Bono's existence:

    Kirsten: I had found out prior... but [because] my parents [know].  

    Jevon: Not even my parents. My dad. Because I know my dad was like, 'Look them up!' So I look them up, and I see they performed at the Super Bowl. I'm like, 'Oh, they must be like big news if they're performing at the Super Bowl.' 

    Kirsten: We're youngins. You know, we are young, so we're still learning and stuff, but it's just a wow moment. 

    On meeting Bono:

    Kirsten:  [He was] really chill, like down down to earth. And I love how they weren't big headed, because I know how sometimes when you're in the presence of someone with a higher status, it could be really intimidating. And I didn't feel like any of us felt intimidation from them. It was just really like a learning experience. They were like, 'Well, what do you think will fit good in this part?' 

    Jevon: One of our friends, by accident, didn't get the words right. So he accidentally sung the wrong thing. And Bono was like, 'Oh, wait, what did you do?' He was like, 'I like that, man.' 

    It was fun. It was funny because we all knew it was an accident, but then we kind of went along with it and Bono liked it. So we just did it. 

    On the joy of performing:

    Kirsten: It was amazing, really happy. I think my moment was just seeing the people's reaction, just to allow other people to feel the enjoyment of what we are gifted to do. And it was just really good. 

    Javon: I guess I just like the feeling that I can make someone's day with the gift that God gave me. Ever since I was younger, I just loved singing for people and making people feel better and just encouraging people. 


    Want to hear the whole conversation with Kirsten and Jevon? Click or tap the play button at the top.


    So, what now?

  • You can watch the full Bono and The Edge Tiny Desk, along with hundreds of others, on our website.   
  • U2's newest album, Songs of Surrender, was released Friday, March 17.   
  • And gear up for the Tiny Desk concert series' 15th anniversary next month! 
  • Learn more:

  • New Music Friday: The best releases out on March 17
  • Robert Smith of The Cure convinces Ticketmaster to give partial refunds, lower fees
  • For pianist Dan Tepfer, improvisation is the mother of Bach's Inventions
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Manuela López Restrepo
    Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.