Silkroad Ensemble

Silkroad Ensemble



Mario Gotoh, viola

Joe Gramley, percussion

Kojiro Umezaki, shakuhachi

Sandeep Das, tabla

Mark Suter, percussion

Mike Block, cello

Joe Gramley, percussion


As a social-impact organization and home to a Grammy Award-winning musical ensemble, Silkroad works to inspire collaboration in innovative ways that add more equity and justice into the world through the power of the arts. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, Silkroad reaches new heights through a commitment to new music, a re-sparked mission towards cultural collaboration, and a reinvigorated focus to high-quality arts education that both reflects its mission and the times in which we live.

Phoenix Rising takes a cross-section of Silkroad’s award-winning compositions and arrangements and re-imagines them for today. Keeping an eye on the past, Silkroad has also collaborated on new works that coalesce her unique worldview with the Ensemble’s collective experience during the pandemic. As such, Phoenix Rising will unveil new commissions by an amazing amalgamation of Silkroad artists.


From its ancient Greek origins to its indigenous roots in America, the phoenix is a global symbol for rebirth and renewal. Known for its fiery purple, orange, and gold feathers and crimson red breast, this mythical bird perishes in flames after setting itself on fire and then rises from the ashes after being born anew. We, as Silkroad, have been undergoing a transformation in our own right that will propel us to new heights of leveraging our music to create a more hopeful and inclusive world.

As we prepare to emerge from multiple pandemics that have caused devastating loss, we vision a peaceful and just future while still honoring the central tenets of our past; we offer to you Phoenix Rising: a collective grieving song and clarion call, uniting audiences through varied cultural experiences and challenging each of us to reflect on, celebrate, and activate our unique talents to effect change.

This is the first of many new and exciting projects from Silkroad, and we cannot wait to share it with you. Together we rise and fall, speaking our truths, honoring our forgotten histories, and looking to our collective future as we investigate this new chapter and uncover the world within American music.


Yo-Yo Ma conceived Silkroad in 1998, recognizing the historical Silk Road as a model for radical cultural collaboration—for the exchange of ideas, tradition, and innovation across borders. In an innovative experiment, he brought together musicians from the lands of the Silk Road to co-create a musical language founded in difference, thus creating the foundation of Silkroad: both a touring ensemble comprised of world-class musicians from all over the globe and a social-impact organization working to make a positive impact across borders through the arts. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, Silkroad leads social impact initiatives and educational programming alongside the creation of new music by the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble. For more information, please visit Silkroad.org

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