The Silk Road Ensemble performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8. i

The Silk Road Ensemble performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8. Ryan Muir for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ryan Muir for NPR
The Silk Road Ensemble performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8.

The Silk Road Ensemble performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8.

Ryan Muir for NPR

globalFEST

The Silk Road Ensemble 2012

Listen

Listen

Loading…

43:23
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/144696932/144926317" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Cross-cultural dialogue never sounded as good as this 14-member group, founded by superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Blending music from points near and far, this is a serious all-star ensemble, which — even without its founder's presence — brings fabulous energy to all of its outings.

Four of The Silk Road Ensemble's core Western classical-oriented members also play as Brooklyn Rider — a longtime NPR Music staff favorite — while other master musicians in this adventurous band include the Galician gaita (bagpipe) dazzler Cristina Pato and pipa virtuoso (and Tiny Desk Concert veteran) Wu Man. When they all played out together in full force, their pure joy and unyielding virtuosity provided one of the evening's highest high points.

Set List
  • "Caronte"
  • Tabla improvisation
  • "Ascending Bird"
  • "Taranta Project (Movements 1, 2, 4, 3)"
  • "Rionji"
  • "Yanzi (Swallow Song)"
  • "Turceasca"
[+] read more[-] less

More From World

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Camané

A star in his native Portugal, Camané evokes melancholy with a silky baritone and elegant phrasing.

Colin Marshall /NPR

Tiny Desk

DakhaBrakha

The Ukrainian acoustic quartet's music encompasses sounds and rhythms from around the world.

Stromae proved to the audience at Stubb's in Austin why he's a major star just about everywhere but the U.S. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

SXSW Music Festival

Stromae, Live In Concert: SXSW 2015

Watch the international superstar perform for a legion of rhapsodic fans at our SXSW showcase.

Colin Marshall/NPR

Tiny Desk

Bio Ritmo

The 10-piece salsa band built its career on dance floors, where it never fails to make people move.

Rodrigo Amarante performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sarah Tilotta/NPR

Tiny Desk

Rodrigo Amarante

A veteran of Little Joy and Los Hermanos, Amarante makes warm, tender music as a solo artist.

Yasmine Hamdan performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in April 2014. Jim Tuttle/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Tuttle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Yasmine Hamdan

The Lebanese singer-songwriter is one of the most groundbreaking musicians in the Middle East.

Back To Top