Press Article
WNYC: Off The Map Radio Coverage

Silk Road Ensemble and Side Roads 

Aired: February 23, 2010

WNYC: New Sounds

John Schaefer

Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble explored the music of the famed trade route, and for this New Sounds program, we’ll follow some of the side roads, featuring musicians from the Silk Road Ensemble.

Hear from Japanese composer and shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, who incorporates both traditional instruments and technology into his work. We’ll hear one of Umezaki’s compositions, performed by Brooklyn Rider (also musicians of the Silk Road Ensemble.) There’s might also be music by Russian/gypsy violist Ljova, and perhaps the piece, “Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain” by Angel Lam, featuring marimba and shakuhachi. Plus, music by pianist Gabriela Lena Frank, a composer of both Chinese/Peruvian and Jewish/Lithuanian descent whose multicultural heritage is reflected in her works. We’ll hear her “Anchino Rhythms,” which features charango, a small mandolin-like instrument adopted by the Indians that can sound very similar to the Chinese pipa. And more.


Souncheck Picks of the Week

Aired: November 5, 2009

WNYC Soundcheck

John Shaefer


Classical Playlist: Bang on a Can All-Stars, Meredith Monk, Kojiro Umezaki and More

May 28, 2014 3:40 pm

Kojiro Umezaki, shakuhachi player and electronics; Joseph Gramley, vibraphonist and percussionist; Dong-Won Kim, janggo player; Faraz Minooei, santur player; Brooklyn Rider
(In a Circle Records)
The shakuhachi virtuoso Kojiro Umezaki is a regular traveler with the Silk Road Ensemble. Here, in collaboration with musicians from different ethnic traditions and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, he further expands the emotional and cultural range of this hauntingly human-sounding bamboo flute. (Fonseca-Wollheim)

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Adventurous Musicians and the Vocal Gymnastics of Madness

April 13, 2014 11:24 p.m. ET

Kojiro Umezaki

The Stone

Avenue C and Second Street, (212) 473-0043



Kojiro Umezaki is perhaps best known for playing shakuhachi, or Japanese flute, in Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, but he is also a composer in his own right. On Monday, as a CD release event for his recent album, "(Cycles)," Mr. Umezaki performs works for shakuhachi and electronics at John Zorn's East Village venue, the Stone. His influences include, he says, a Dvoƙák symphony, a Walt Whitman poem and music along the Silk Road. Percussionist and fellow Silk Road Ensemble member Joseph Gramley also performs.

Photo: Kojiro Umezaki plays a shakuhachi, or Japanese flute. @Paul Kennedy


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Song of the Silk Road

Times of Oman

BY DR. PATRICIA GROVES    |    JANUARY 31, 2014 , 2 : 12 PM GST    

World famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble treated music enthusiasts in Muscat to a cultural voyage across the historic trading route at the Royal Opera House Muscat last week.

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A Playlist Without Borders: Charlie Rose (10/18)

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- On "Charlie Rose," a conversation with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Silk Road Project. Their new album is called "A Playlist Without Borders." (Source: Bloomberg)

View interview here.

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall

Wednesday, October 16 at 8 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the innovative Silk Road Ensemble returns with a program of works from Asia, Europe, and the United States. Formed under the artistic direction of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, this collective of distinguished performers and composers from more than 20 countries performs previous commissions and new works by Vijay IyerJohn Zorn, and David Bruce.