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WORLD MUSIC SUPER GROUP SILKROAD ENSEMBLE MAKES ITS NEW ZEALAND DEBUT AT AUCKLAND ARTS FESTIVAL IN MARCH

For the first time, the international musicians of the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble will perform their genre-defying music in New Zealand.

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For one night only at the Auckland Arts Festival in March, the dynamic, ever-evolving super group will present a never-to-be-seen-again concert which converges centuries, continents and cultures. The repertoire will include popular jazz; traditional Vietnamese, Chinese and Kazakh music; Finnish folk song; Jugalbandi (Indian classical) and much more.

Founded by superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Silkroad Ensemble is a collective of virtuoso musicians from more than 20 countries. Its work is a vibrant, passionate and ecstatic celebration of world music, both instrumental and vocal, performed by outstanding contemporary musicians representing dozens of instrumental disciplines and artistic traditions. They were inspired by the rich musical language borne from cultural differences. Their performances are endlessly energetic and filled with fun.

The ensemble performs throughout the world and has recorded seven albums. Its Grammy Award-winning album Sing Me Home was developed and recorded alongside the 2016 documentary feature about Silkroad, The Music of Strangers.

Silkroad Ensemble musicians are also teachers, producers and advocates. Off the stage, they lead passionate learning programs, residencies in schools, museums and communities of all sizes, and experiment with new media and genres which share Silkroad’s radical approach to cultural collaboration.

The musicians coming to Auckland Arts Festival include two of Silkroad’s co-artistic directors — Jeffrey Beecher on bass and multi-percussionist Shane Shanahan — internationally acclaimed Galician bagpipe master and classical pianist Cristina Pato, pioneering cellist Mike Block, multi-talented percussionist Mark Suter, Indian tabla player Sandeep Das, violist Mario Gotoh, Wu Tong, who has played the sheng and suona since he was five, and Kayhan Kalhor who is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle), among others.

The performers take time off from their roles in the world’s best orchestras and as pre-eminent academics at some of the leading music schools across the globe to tour with Silkroad Ensemble.

The full AAF 2019 programme will be announced on Friday 2 November.