Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM
  • $16
  •     Tickets    
    or $20 day of show

Ed Sweeney with Yang Wei and members of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble: Sandeep Das, Shane Shanahan, and Shaw Pong Liu with special guest Lorraine Lee Hammond


This very special show will be a Celebration of the Chinese New Year as Blackstone River Theatre welcomes Ed Sweeney with four members of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble - Yang Wei on pipa, Sandeep Das on tabla, Shane Shanahan on percussion, and Shaw Pong Liu on violin and erhu. Ed Sweeney performs a wide-ranging repertoire of traditional music, ragtime and blues on 6- and 12-string guitar, 5-string banjo, and fretless banjo. Sweeney's 2015 CD with Yang Wei, "What Lies Ahead," a collaboration of traditional Chinese music and traditional western music, grew from the friendship that was formed between the two in 2008 when Ed was introduced to Yang Wei after a performance of the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma in Chicago. That friendship grew into performances in Chicago, Rhode Island and Taiwan. Representing a global array of cultures, Silk Road Ensemble musicians co-create art, performance, and ideas. The Ensemble has been called "vibrant and virtuosic" by the Wall Street Journal, and a "roving musical laboratory without walls" by the Boston Globe. Formed by Yo-Yo Ma in 2000, the Ensemble's music is contemporary and ancient, familiar and foreign, traditional yet innovative, and draws on many traditions from around the world to create a new musical language that reflects our 21st-century global society. Since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 C.E.), the pipa - a short-necked wooden lute - has been one of the most popular instruments in China. Yang Wei is a young pipa virtuoso. Yang Wei, a young pipa virtuoso, has been celebrated worldwide, performing for audiences throughout Asia, Europe, and the U.S. By age 18 he performed as a soloist with the National Shanghai Orchestra. 

In 1989 Yang Wei received First Prize for the International Chinese Musical Instruments Competition in the Young Professional Pipa section. He moved to the United States in 1996. In addition to performing as a soloist with orchestras around the world, he has toured with the acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble since 2000, performing alongside world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Sandeep Das is one of the world's leading tabla virtuosos. He has composed for and performed internationally with the Silk Road Ensemble since the group's founding in 2000, and is a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. Percussionist, composer, and arranger Shane Shanahan has combined his studies of drumming traditions from around the world with his background in jazz, rock, and Western art music to create a very unique, highly sought after style. In addition to being an original member of the SilkRoad Ensemble, he has performed with Bobby McFerrin, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Alison Krauss, and many others. Violinist and composer Shaw Pong Liuengages diverse communities with creative music and social dialogue. As one of three Artist-in-Residence with the City of Boston for 2016, Liu's current project, "Code Listen," explores how music can support healing and dialogue around challenging topics of gun violence, race, and law enforcement practices. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a Masters in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. Special guest Lorraine Lee-Hammond has been playing and teaching the Appalachian dulcimer for over 30 years. In New England she is known as a virtuoso player as well as a fine songwriter whose music is infused with a rare combination of consummate skill and quiet joy, qualities that have become her trademark.