Silkroad Announces Debut Concert Tour of its "American Railroad" Initiative
The American ensemble's multi-city tour will include the premieres of three newly commissioned works
Silkroad has recently announced that the next phase of its "American Railroad" project will include a multi-city United States concert tour.
Founded by cellist and cultural ambassador Yo-Yo Ma in 1998 as a model for cultural collaboration, Silkroad is a global musical ensemble named in honor of the historical Silk Road — an ancient trade route linking the West with the Middle East and Asia.
Conceived by Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, the "American Railroad" project explores the relationship between American railways and African-American, Chinese, Irish, and Indigenous communities.
As part of the project, Silkroad has commissioned a number of new works for the tour — by composers Cécile McLorin Salvant, Suzanne Kite, and Silkroad artist Wu Man.
In addition, the tour will feature re-envisioned arrangements by Giddens herself and fellow Silkroad artists Haruka Fujii and Maeve Gilchrist. All of the commissioned works featured on the tour are by female or non-binary composers.
"The 'American Railroad' project has been years in the making, and the program we've created for our first tour is only the beginning," Giddens said. "In it, we shed light on those who have been erased or overlooked throughout American history and merge with it Silkroad's unique ability to amplify voices from a multitude of backgrounds and cultures."
"The result is a tapestry of stories, traditions, and musics that have shaped our multifaceted cultural identity, and that must be heard and recognized," she added. "I hope audiences in the D.C. area and across California will leave these performances with a clearer sense of where we come from, how we got here, what it cost us — and that we collectively reflect on where we're headed."
You can read the full list of tour dates below.
November 5, 2023
Center for the Arts at George Mason University
Residency with Rhiannon Giddens and Silkroad artists as part of Mason’s Artist-in-Residence program for the 2023-2024 season (November 6).
November 9, 2023
The Granada Theatre
Presented by UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures
Santa Barbara, CA
Residency at UC Santa Barbara with three Silkroad artists guest lecturing on world music and ethnomusicology (November 8).
November 10, 2023
Presented by La Jolla Music Society
San Diego, CA
November 11, 2023
Soka Performing Arts Center
Presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Soka Performing Arts Center
Aliso Viejo, CA
November 12, 2023
The Soraya’s Great Hall
Presented by the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at CSUN
November 15, 2023
Bing Concert Hall
Presented by Stanford Live
Residency at Stanford University with Silkroad artists (November 14).
November 16, 2023
Mondavi Center, UC Davis
Engagement with students from Fremont School as part of Silkroad Connect (November 16).
November 17, 2023
Presented by Cal Performances
November 18, 2023
Presented by Green Music Center
Rohnert Park, CA