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Silkroad's Global Musician Workshop, Hosted by DePauw, Will Include Three Public Performances

Silkroad's Global Musician Workshop, Hosted by DePauw, Will Include Three Public Performances

May 31, 2015

With a mission of fostering a community of globally minded musicians who learn from one another’s traditions and incorporate them into their own artistic voices, Silkroad’s inaugural Global Music Workshop will take place at the DePauw University School of Music in Greencastle, Indiana, June 8–12, 2015, at the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts. The workshop is directed by cellist Mike Block and taught by an all-star faculty (see below), including members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and friends, who represent a unique range of musical backgrounds from around the world. The week will open with a private conversation with Yo-Yo Ma and conclude with three public performances on June 10, 11, and 12, 2015.

The public is invited to attend these events:

  • Faculty Concert by the Silk Road Ensemble and Friends: Wednesday, June 10, 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium

Co-presented by the Greencastle Summer Music Festival and the DePauw University School of Music

Featuring multiple Grammy-Award nominees from backgrounds as varied as Afro-Latin jazz, American folk, and traditional styles of Mali, Japan, and India, this wide-ranging concert will showcase individual performers as well as never-before-heard duos, trios, and quartets.

  • Participant and Faculty Performances: Thursday, June 11, and Friday, June 12, both 7:30 p.m. at Thompson Recital Hall

Both concerts will feature a broad array of styles and instruments from around the world, played by a diverse group of workshop participants and faculty in an eclectic number of bands. These performances culminate the week of collaborative rehearsal and music development.

All three concerts are free of charge, with a suggested donation of $20, which will go directly to the Global Musician Workshop Scholarship Fund. More than 40% of participants received financial assistance from Silkroad to attend this year’s workshop.

“When you value others who bring something different to the table, collaboration is the key to meaningful work,” said Mike Block. “I hope our students will take away a deeper appreciation and understanding of music and cultures from around the world -- not only by learning new techniques and experiencing how different styles of music are constructed, but also by learning what values motivate the acts of creation and performance for different artists and how musicians from different cultures can interact. LGL 4076We have an exceptionally diverse student group, and they will undoubtedly learn as much from each other as they do from us. I expect the concerts to showcase an incredible array of talent.”

Gathering from 23 U.S. states and 10 countries, from as far afield as Chile, Iran, New Zealand, and Singapore, and ranging from music students to professional musicians, around 90 participants will take part in the groundbreaking workshop. Every student will have the opportunity to perform with faculty in both concerts at the end of the week.

Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop Faculty

Mike Block, multi-style cello, Global Musician Workshop director

Hanneke Cassel, Celtic fiddle

Sandeep Das, Indian tabla

Hadi Eldebek, Arabic oud

Sarah Jarosz, American folk singer, mandolin, guitar, banjo

Balla Kouyate, Malian balafon

Edward Perez, Afro-Latin bass

Shane Shanahan, world percussion

Jayme Stone, American banjo

Kaoru Watanabe, Japanese bamboo flute, Western flute, taiko drum

 Silkroad gratefully acknowledges its corporate sponsor, Hyosung Corporation, and its other institutional partners for their generous support of activities that promote innovation, education, and cross-cultural understanding through the arts.

The Silk Road Ensemble

Representing a global array of cultures, Silk Road Ensemble musicians co-create art, performance and ideas. Since 2000, the Silk Road Ensemble has been redefining classical music for 21st-century audiences. By drawing on the rich array of traditions that make up our shared cultural heritage, they create a new musical language -- a unique encounter between the foreign and the familiar that reflects our many-layered contemporary identities. The ensemble has been called “vibrant and virtuosic” by the Wall Street Journal, “one of the 21st century’s great ensembles” by the Vancouver Sun, and a “roving musical laboratory without walls” by the Boston Globe. Audiences and critics throughout Asia, Europe, and North America have embraced these artists passionate about cross-cultural understanding and innovation. The group has recorded five albums, including the most recent CD, A Playlist Without Borders, and Live From Tanglewood DVD.

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo Yo Ma lg09The many-faceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Mr. Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras worldwide and his recital and chamber music activities. In addition to founding and serving as artistic director of the Silk Road Project, Yo-Yo Ma is also the Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute. His work focuses on the transformative power music can have in individuals’ lives, and on increasing the number and variety of opportunities audiences have to experience music in their communities.


Inspired by his curiosity about the world and eager to forge connections across cultures, disciplines, and generations, cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded the nonprofit organization Silkroad in 1998. Through performance and the creation of new music, cultural partnerships, education programs, and cross-disciplinary collaborations, Silkroad creates unexpected connections, collaborations, and communities, working at the edge where education, business, and the arts come together to transform the world. Hyosung Corporation is lead sponsor of Silkroad, 2011-2015.

For more information on the Silk Road Ensemble, click here.

Yo-Yo Ma will also participate in a ribbon cutting for the DePauw University School of Music's new "Music on the Square" initiative on Monday, June 8, at 4:45 p.m.  You'll find details in this article.