Since May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I thought I’d give us a post highlighting someone who might make great musician of the month possibility. Yo-Yo Ma is a former child prodigy, French born Chinese cellist. His first appearance in 1962 from the Kennedy Center, introduced by Leonard Bernstein, was a performance for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower during An American Pageant of the Arts.
He’s a prolific recording artist with over 90 albums including film work, and 19 Grammy Awards. He collaborates often with other recording artists outside of the realm of classical music and has recorded in several different genres. He is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and has been honored several times over by arts and political entities for his musical and humanitarian work.
Performances to see
- Debut performance with his sister, Yeou-Cheng Ma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNvAUobb1y4
- Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma on Johnny Carson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVLE91tEUqU
- Tiny Desk Concert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uiUHvET_jg
- On Sesame Street https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89sFEuEuTYM
- 2021 Presidential Inauguration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWZwuK8D4Js
- ANYTHING ELSE on his YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHWa5v6bbSxpns7mUfC3e5g
Books to Read
Yo-Yo & Yeou-Cheng Ma Finding Their Way
Author: Ai-Ling Louie
Illustrator: Cathy Peng
Buy the Book on Amazon
Playing At the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma
Author: Joanna Ho
Illustrator: Teresa Martinez
Buy the book on Amazon
Author, Illustrator: Sandra Boynton
Audio: Yo-Yo Ma
Buy on Amazon
I hope this has given you some ideas on a how to incorporate the music of Yo-Yo Ma in your class this May, or any time!