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Editors’ Notes

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma was already a dominant yet typically smiling figure on the classical music scene when he branched into other musical directions: Brazilian, tango, bluegrass-Celtic fusion, the multicultural Silk Road Project, and much more. For his latest album, Goat Rodeo Sessions, he recorded for the first time with fiddler Stuart Duncan (Nashville Bluegrass Band) while again playing with double bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, ex-Nickel Creek). The “goat rodeo” portion of the album’s title is taken from slang for a setting in which multiple conflicting elements all must be choreographed and aligned to avoid a chaotic result. In the context of this quartet (joined by progressive bluegrass vocalist Aoife O’Donovan on two numbers), it represents each instrumentalist's stylistically different disciplines coming together in a spirited, generous, and open-eared setting, resulting in a fluid new style of Americana.

Customer Reviews


This is an amazing release that deserves a listen by any and all musicians ... or ... anyone willing to take a ride through an album full of beautiful musical stories. While it's certainly a challenge to classify this release genre-wise, it's unfortunate this has been labeled 'Classical'. I'd argue for something like bluegrass-classical-jazz fusion if there were such a category.

Take a chance and give this a listen ... with headphones or a great stereo ... and I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Don't Be Fooled!

Amazing venture! No doubt, there will be the usual bluegrass snobbery and envy-riddled, wannabe musicians that will try to pass this off as a half-hearted attempt by these virtuoso to make some pocket change... Don't be fooled; the reality that comes to the forefront is this is an amazing recording of amazing music played by amazing musicians. We are blessed that they would come together like this and give us an hour, or so of wonderful music to escape into.... for just a little while.


I cannot get enough Chris Thile, or any of his collaborations. Had to buy this!


Born: October 7, 1955 in Paris, France

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Yo-Yo Ma is the cello's foremost contemporary proponent; while primarily a classical performer, he has also made a number of highly successful crossover recordings. Born October 7, 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris, he began playing the cello at the age of four, later studying with Janos Scholz; in 1962, he also became the pupil of Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School, and was the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize in 1978. A Harvard graduate, Ma made his initial impact performing...
Full Bio

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