Photo of cellist Yo-Yo Ma and bluegrass superstars.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and bluegrass superstars. (Photo: Courtesy of Cal Performances)

Legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma is known for his superb musicianship and his driving curiosity which sends him searching for new musical traditions in which to participate. In 2011, Ma joined forces with four bluegrass virtuosos: Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Edgar Meyer (bassist), Chris Thile (mandolin), and guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan to create a new brand of string ensemble.

While each artist is a prominent figure in his own musical sphere, they came together as a unified band on a remarkable cross-genre project and in the process created a Grammy Award-winning album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a testimony to the success of the collaboration.

The ensemble reunites on Saturday, August 24 at 8:00 p.m. at Cal Performances’ Greek Theater to perform works from the album. The music feels both new and familiar — it is composed and improvised, uptown and down home, funky and pastoral and above all, uniquely American. The four string musicians had played together in various combinations but never all together. Student tickets start at $17.50.
For more information about the event, visit the Cal Performances website.