Silkroad & New England Conservatory Partner for 2021 Global Musician Workshop

Special guests include Angélique Kidjo, Black Violin, Jake Shimabukuro, and Speech, as well as members of the Silkroad Ensemble and Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens

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(Photo credit: Max Whittaker)

On June 30, Silkroad and the New England Conservatory announced its 2021 Global Musician Workshop (GMW). The event will take place virtually from August 8–14 and feature a workshops, jam sessions, panel discussions, topic-based elective classes, and a two-day Online Performance Festival open to the public.

Silkroad is a globally-minded musical organization founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998 that includes the Silkroad Ensemble and emphasizes new music, social initiatives, and educational partnerships.

GMW, which has occurred annually since 2015, is one such partnership. The workshop is a professional development program for amateur and professional musicians and educators over the age of 18 who have backgrounds in classical, jazz, folk, traditional music, and other genres. Applications for the program will remain open until the program's start date.

Cellist and Silkroad artist Mike Block directs the festival, and members of the Silkroad Ensemble will teach the various workshops and classes virtually from the New England Conservatory campus in Boston.

“No matter what music you already love and no matter what music you already know, I guarantee you it’s the result of centuries of global influence and exchange. And that’s what we’re trying to pack into one life-changing week,” said Block, who emphasized the program's global nature — so far, musicians from over 40 countries have participated in the workshop.

Silkroad strongly encourages applications for financial assistance from musicians who identify as BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, and members of other historically marginalized groups.

The Online Performance Festival, which will close out the program on August 13 and 14, will be broadcast for free on Silkroad’s Facebook and YouTube.