Rhiannon Giddens relaunches the Silkroad Ensemble NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with composer Rhiannon Giddens about the Silkroad Ensemble. A couple of years ago she replaced famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma as the creative director of the ensemble.

Rhiannon Giddens relaunches the Silkroad Ensemble

Rhiannon Giddens relaunches the Silkroad Ensemble

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Courtesy of the artist
Members of the Silkroad Ensemble in a portrait taken at a preview of Phoenix Rising in Nov. 2021. Front row, from left: Wu Man, Haruka Fujii, Karen Ouzounian, Rhiannon Giddens and Maeve Gilchrist. Back row, from left: Sandeep Das, Mario Gotoh, Reylon Yount, Kaoru Watanabe and Joseph Gramley.
Courtesy of the artist

A couple of years ago, musician and vocalist Rhiannon Giddens replaced famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma as the artistic director of the Silkroad Ensemble, a shifting collective made up of dozens of musicians from around the world focused on playing music as eclectic as its membership.

"We all speak different languages ... [and] even if we both speak English, we speak a different cultural language, right? So you're always constantly trying to find, 'What is the common ground between you and me?' Silkroad is doing that [with] music."

Giddens spoke to Morning Edition's Rachel Martin about her work with the collective and the post-pandemic relaunch they're undertaking with the new program Phoenix Rising.


To hear the full conversation, use the audio player at the top of the page.