“The cyclone of exuberance that is Yo-Yo Ma tore through the Washington, D.C., area at the end of November,” writes Alex Ross in the 12/17 New Yorker. “The cellist is in the middle of a sprawling tour called the Bach Project, which involves performances of Bach’s six solo-cello suites in thirty-six places, on six continents…. Each is accompanied by a Day of Action, in which Ma meets with local artists, community leaders, students, and activists, exploring how culture can contribute to social progress. In Washington, the venue was the National Cathedral. The Day of Action took place in Anacostia, the historic African-American neighborhood in southeast D.C. Ma began the day at We Act Radio, a progressive Anacostia station. Joining him was the jazz composer, bassist, and singer Esperanza Spalding, who, as a participant in the Kennedy Center’s Turnaround Arts program, works with a local school. Ma said that he had come to Anacostia because of the community’s efforts to strengthen itself through culture. ‘You give of yourselves from substance,’ he said. ‘…when you do that, that’s when beauty emerges.” The Day of Action in Anacostia was part of the Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America program and Ma’s Bach Project.

Posted December 12, 2018