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Spokane Symphony's Masterworks 7: "Along the Silk Road"

Tabla player Sandeep Das and conductor James Ross in the SPR performance space
E.J. Iannelli
Spokane Public Radio
Tabla player Sandeep Das and conductor James Ross in the SPR performance space

Tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das and conductor James Ross preview a varied SSO program

Sandeep Das and James Ross joined E.J. Iannelli in the KPBX studio ahead of their appearance with the Spokane Symphony as part of this weekend's Masterworks 7 concert titled “Along the Silk Road.”

Das is a renowned tabla player who has often collaborated with cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. For this concert program, he is the featured soloist on Dinuk Wijeratne's Tabla Concerto. Ross is, among many other positions, the music director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and is guest conducting this concert.

Ross explained how he came to conduct this concert and why he chose the Tabla Concerto as its centerpiece. He also offered some background on Valerie Coleman's "Umoja — Anthem of Unity," which will open the program.

Before diving a little deeper into his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and the nuances of the Tabla Concerto, Das shared his colorful start in music, his debut with Ravi Shankar and the unique qualities of his instrument. By way of introducing the track "Parvaaz-e Noor: Flight of Light," Das also spoke about his album Delhi to Damascus with the HUM ensemble.

To close, Ross talked about Jean Sibelius' "Beethovinian" Second Symphony and how it connects to the other pieces in the program.

There are two performances of the Spokane Symphony's Masterworks 7 "Along the Silk Road" concert — the first tomorrow (Saturday, Mar. 9) and the second on Sunday (Mar. 10).

Tickets and more information are available at the Spokane Symphony website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director
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