Yo-Yo Ma conceived Silkroad in 1998 as a reminder that even as rapid globalization resulted in division, it brought extraordinary possibilities for working together. Seeking to understand this dynamic, he began to learn about the historical Silk Road, recognizing in it a model for productive cultural collaboration, for the exchange of ideas and tradition alongside commerce and innovation. And in a radical experiment, he brought together musicians from the lands of the Silk Road to co-create a new artistic idiom, a musical language founded in difference, a metaphor for the benefits of a more connected world.
Today, these Grammy Award-winning artists seek and practice radical cultural collaboration in many forms, creating and presenting new music, teacher and musician training workshops, and residency programs in schools, museums, and communities.
Silkroad has recorded seven albums. Sing Me Home, which won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album was developed and recorded alongside the documentary feature The Music of Strangers, from Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville.