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Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble Open 2011 Central Park SummerStage

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The cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble and several hundred New York City school kids kicked off the SummerStage 2011 season with a musical theater event called "Night at the Caravanserai: Tales of Wonder" on Tuesday night. Among the special guests were vocalist Bobby McFerrin, trumpeter Marcus Printup, and the actor Bill Irwin who served as the evening's emcee.

The concert was part of Silk Road Connect, an educational initiative involving the NYC Department of Education and sixth grade classes in several schools throughout the city. The pilot program is in its second year. Sixth grade performers from four different schools participated in this concert, which sought to explore connections between Eastern and Western cultures.

The Silk Road Ensemble, NYC school students and guest artists perform at Central Park Summerstage.
The Silk Road Ensemble, NYC school students and guest artists perform at Central Park Summerstage.
Yo-Yo Ma with members of the Silk Road Ensemble at Central Park Summerstage
Yo-Yo Ma with members of the Silk Road Ensemble at Central Park Summerstage ( Brian Wise/WQXR )
Yo-Yo Ma, vocalist Bobby McFerrin and sixth graders from Frederick Douglass Academy III in The Bronx.
Yo-Yo Ma, vocalist Bobby McFerrin and sixth graders from Frederick Douglass Academy III in The Bronx. ( Brian Wise/WQXR )
Yo-Yo Ma and actor Bill Irwin at Central Park Summerstage. Irwin is known by children as Mr. Noodle on 'Elmo's World.'
Yo-Yo Ma and actor Bill Irwin at Central Park Summerstage. Irwin is known by children as Mr. Noodle on 'Elmo's World.' ( Brian Wise/WQXR )
Vocalist Bobby McFerrin joins Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble
Vocalist Bobby McFerrin joins Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble ( Brian Wise/WQXR )
Vocalist Bobby McFerrin performs with the Silk Road Ensemble. The Iranian kemancheh player Kayhan Kalhor is bottom left.
Vocalist Bobby McFerrin performs with the Silk Road Ensemble. The Iranian kemancheh player Kayhan Kalhor is bottom left. ( Brian Wise/WQXR )
The crowd at Central Park Summerstage on June 7.
The crowd at Central Park Summerstage on June 7. ( Brian Wise/WQXR )
Grand finale, featuring breakdancer Lil buck, soprano Emalie Savoy, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.
Grand finale, featuring breakdancer Lil buck, soprano Emalie Savoy, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. ( Brian Wise/WQXR )
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