The Silk Road Ensemble: globalFEST 2012 Hear the Ensemble's dozen-plus virtuoso musicians play a range of traditional instruments, spanning Europe and Asia.

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

toggle caption
Ryan Muir for NPR

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

The Silk Road Ensemble: globalFEST 2012

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/144696932/144926317" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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

Trupa Trupa plays a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Trupa Trupa (Home) Concert

The Polish rock band performed a Tiny Desk quarantine concert in Gdańsk basement.

Fabiano do Nascimento plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Fabiano Do Nascimento (Home) Concert

The Brazilian-born guitarist performs a peace-inducing concert from his home in Los Angeles.

Coreyah plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Coreyah (Home) Concert

The Seoul-based sextet performs music that blends Korean traditional music with modern sounds.

Taimane plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltrán Villamizar /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltrán Villamizar /NPR

Taimane

Within the first moments of Taimane's magical set, we hear her play fiery flamenco, a famous phrase from the opera Carmen, a touch of Bach and more than a nod to her Hawaiian homeland.

Rising Appalachia performs during tiny desk on November, 19, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Rising Appalachia

The Atlanta-based band came to NPR in a van packed with a bodhrán (Irish drum), an ngoni (West African harp) a huge gourd, a cello, a baritone guitar and more.

Koffee plays a Tiny Desk Concert Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Koffee

The fast-rising teenager from Jamaica just won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, making her the first woman and youngest artist to ever win in the category.

Snarky Puppy performs during a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 12, 2019. Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Snarky Puppy

The jazz, funk and gospel improv group brought jams and joy to the Tiny Desk.

Burna Boy performs during a Tiny Desk concert on Sept. 16, 2019. Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Burna Boy

The Nigerian singer and songwriter is one of the biggest African artists in the world and a pioneer of Afro-fusion, an inescapable sound this year.

Kokoko! performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 1, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

KOKOKO!

KOKOKO! are sonic warriors. They seized control of the Tiny Desk, shouting their arrival through a megaphone, while electronic sirens begin to blare.

Rio Mira plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Shuran Huang/NPR). Shuran Huang/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Shuran Huang/NPR

Rio Mira

Rio Mira's music celebrates life along the river that separates Ecuador and Colombia: soft breezes, loving friends, the embrace of Africa and lots of festejando!

Back To Top