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Silk Road Ensemble thrills Granada Theatre audience / Daily Nexus

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Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble played to two consecutive sold out crowds in the Granada Theatre on Sunday and Monday night. The backdrop transitioned from blue to amber behind dozens of speakers stacked up, as if prepared for a rock show. But the music seemed to emanate directly from the instruments themselves. Kayhan Kalhor, an internationally known musician, slowly began playing the kamancheh, an Iranian stringed instrument. After four minutes of solo play, more than 20 members of the ensemble picked up their violins, clarinets and bass, adding to Kalhor's skillful strumming.

Ma was the last person to begin playing, and while many of those in the audience likely came to see him, it was members of the ensemble who were front and center for much of the night. Hundreds of heads stood still as they fixated on Ma's masterful playing, his eyes closed, his hand viciously sliding his bow back and forth on the cello. The Silk Road Ensemble is releasing a new album, Sing Me Home, on April 22.   READ THE FULL Daily Nexus REVIEW