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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holidays. Draining? No way!

Clockwise from top L: Ma, Streep, Diamond, Cook, and Rollins (Photo: AP)

In case you’re feeling a little low on inspiration this holiday season (and let’s be honest: We’re all stretched in a million different directions right now…and most of those directions probably have not much to do with the practice of our own art), look no further than the exciting cross section of talent represented by this year’s class of Kennedy Center Honors inductees – Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins, and Meryl Streep.

The ceremony was held at the Kennedy Center last Sunday (read more about it here), and will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 27. I try to make tuning in part of my holiday tradition each year.

To celebrate this year’s honorees – and as a shout-out on opening night of Lydia Diamond’s Stick Fly on Broadway (another amazing inspiration!) – here is Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble performing Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State of Mind’. The video is from a performance for public school students last year at NYC’s American Museum of Natural History, and you need only watch the young audience to understand the power of art and…well, just check it out. You’ve probably never seen sixth graders so excited about a cello.   

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