History’s Silk Road was a loose network of trade routes between Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Traveling such distances required not only understanding different cultures and languages, but also learning about those peoples’ music along the way. In the 21st century, the Silkroad Ensemble, the brainchild of Yo-Yo Ma, brings together musical styles from around the world into a thoroughly fulfilling audio collage.
The Grammy-winning group will perform a program called “Uplifted Voices” at the M Center for the Arts at George Mason University Jan. 29. Violinist Mazz Swift shared with Alchemical Records that the concept for “Uplifted Voices” came about thanks to Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens’s desire to have a show comprising entirely women and nonbinary artists. Learn more about the background of this event with contributing writer Eric Althoff in this feature.
Pura Fé, Lap-steel Slide Guitar, Vocals
Haruka Fujii, Percussion
Maeve Gilchrist, Celtic Harp, Vocals
Wu Man, Pipa
Karen Ouzounian, Cello
Mazz Swift, Violin, Vocals
The GRAMMY Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble, founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, debuts their newest program Uplifted Voices at the Center, as part of their multi-year participation as a Mason Artist-in-Residence. Championing women and non-binary members of the Silkroad Ensemble alongside special guest Tuscarora/Taíno musician Pura Fé, Uplifted Voices weaves a musical tapestry connecting the sounds and rhythms of indigenous North America to the World. Drawing inspiration from the folk and ancestral music of Japan, China, Armenia, Ireland, the Hebrides, and native populations across North America, the ensemble shines a light on previously under-recognized voices from across the globe, to change our perspective of the history and migration of music. Silkroad Ensemble’s radical cultural collaboration seeks to build bridges of understanding to combat fear and build a more hopeful and inclusive world. Today, under the artistic direction of celebrated singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens, the Silkroad Ensemble leads social impact initiatives and educational programming alongside the creation of new music that celebrates the exchange of ideas, tradition, and innovation across borders. This performance is the first as part of a three-year residency with the Center for the Arts, during which they will engage the community through a variety of events, classes, and discussions.
This performance is appropriate for all ages.
Prices: $55, $47, $33, half-price for youth through Grade 12
These and more details, and tickets, are available at https://cfa.calendar.gmu.edu/silkroad-ensemble
Daniel Warren Hill is an American musician, writer, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the frontman for Washington DC area Alternative Rock band YellowTieGuy, as co-founder of Capitol Groove Collective, and increasing the exposure of artists on a global scale through his work with Alchemical Records.