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Music From Around the World: Celebrating Joy and Peace

YoYo Ma and Friends

I offer a beautiful gift to raise your holiday spirit. After 13 years, this double CD is still a treasure.

In a world music tradition of inclusiveness, YoYo Ma put out a call for other musicians to join him and improvise on Dona Nobis. Even an ordinary person like me could have submitted an MP3.

The results, with virtuosos Chris Thiele and Edgar Meyer, the Assad brothers, Paquito D’Rivera & Alon Avnai, and Chris Botti are innovative and transformative.

All the performances are inspiring and filled with love.

Standouts for me are:

  • Alison Krauss and Natalie MacMasters perform the Wexford Carol to pure perfection.

  • Edgar Meyers exquisite arrangement of Blossom Dearie’s Touch the Hand of Love. Reneé Fleming carries an edge of heartache in her voice, making me weep, and Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thiele and Meyers dance around her in delicate support.

But that's not all. How ‘bout this lineup of greats?

Dave Brubeck, Joy to the World: James Taylor, Here Comes the Sun: Diana Krall and John Clayton, You Couldn’t be Cuter’ Chris Botti, My Favorite Things; Joshua Redman, My One and Only Love; Jake Shimabukuro, Happy Christmas (War is Over).

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

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