Yo-Yo Ma Inspired in Denver

Dele Johnson

After a sold-out performance at Red Rocks, Yo-Yo Ma took time to listen to Denver.

In early August, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma captivated nearly 10,000 people with a sold-out,  solo performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. But to many in the community, his true star turn came the following day. During "A Denver Day of Community in Action," he visited community groups across Metro Denver that use culture to address challenges including refugee integration, food security, homelessness, urban growth, and displacement.

Ma visited organizations in the Five Points, Westwood, and Mariposa neighborhoods of Denver, including Denver Foundation grantees RedLine Contemporary Arts Center, PlatteForum, Westwood Unidos, and Re:Vision. He also met with a crowd of more than 200 people, including many refugees and new Americans, at The People's Building in Aurora.

The day of performance and action reached its apex with "This is Home," a block party hosted by Youth on Record that featured performances from many members of Denver's artist-activist community. The party included conversations about how we can all help our fellow Denverites in a time of uncertainty and change.

The day closed with a moment of symphonic delight from local youth orchestra El Sistema Colorado. Backing them on the cello? Their new friend Yo-Yo, of course.

Yo-Yo Ma performed with members of El Sistema Colorado during "This is Home," a community block party at Youth on Record in August.

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