The weekend of March 7th, 2015, Black Sea Hotel had the tremendous honor of rehearsing and recording with Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble… We basked in some downright stunning musicality - all of which was so sensitive, so focused - so much love was offered in every single graceful note.

Johnny Gandelsman (co-producer of this record / violinist for Brooklyn Rider / Silk Road Ensemble) invited us to record my vocal arrangement Sadila Jana in collaboration with Kyle Sanna, who was commissioned to create the instrumental arrangement for it. It is heavenly. It consists of violin (Colin Jacobsen), viola (Nicholas Cords), Shakuhachi (Kojiro Umezaki), and cello (Yo-Yo). 

The entire Silk Road Ensemble, musicians and administrators alike, were such a pleasure to work with. And, Ummmmm… Yo-Yo is one of the loveliest humans around. So insanely musically sensitive; unstoppably curious about exploring what’s presented to him from all angles; and unexpectedly hilarious and goofy. Colin and Nick taught Yo-Yo how to “wildebeest,” which they both learned to do when playing strings in the 2011 Tableau; he’s really good at it! (as you will see above). For those Tableau participants out there, you get the message - think of it as a tribute to wildly wonderful creative expression!

And lastly, I must share that WuTong from the Silk Road Ensemble was there after we recorded, and I was introduced to his instrument in studio, the Ancient Chinese Sheng. I am in love with this instrument completely. I've always dreamed of being able to hold an organ in my hand and play it (and this is for real, not some metaphorical reference, just to be clear). I think I'm gonna try to learn how to play! He lives in China, so we’ll have to see how that might work.

The record has not scheduled its release date yet. I will keep you posted.