Yo-Yo Ma Breaks New Ground With Debut Release of Songs of Joy & Peace



SONY BMG Masterworks is pleased to announce that legendary artist Yo-Yo Ma's new holiday recording, Songs of Joy & Peace, which was released on October 14, has garnered unprecedented Billboard chart positions in the cellist's recording career with Masterworks. Alex Miller, Senior Vice President/General Manager of SONY BMG Masterworks and Victor Label Group had this to say: "It is with great pride that I announce two new milestones in Yo-Yo Ma's 30-year recording career with our company: his highest Billboard Chart debut ever and the highest Billboard chart position of his career with Songs of Joy and Peace. Yo-Yo Ma's # 41 position on the Billboard Top 200 Album charts is continued evidence of the power and passion Yo-Yo brings to the world."

The strong numbers also helped propel Songs of Joy & Peace to the number 1 positions on Billboard's Top Classical Crossover Albums and Top Overall Classical Albums charts.

Miller goes on to say: "Songs of Joy and Peace featuring Yo-Yo Ma and a stellar cast of his friends is a musical party in celebration of the joys of the holiday season. Yo-Yo's expressions of love and camaraderie are the right emotions at this time of year and his fans, new and old, are responding in record numbers. He has created a special kind of musical magic that transcends classical, world, or other genres and is truly of this world as a reflection of our best desires, hopes, and dreams. We are thrilled to be associated with such a fantastic artist and his vision for joy and peace."

"It started with the idea of a party, a party built around the concept of joy and the infinite varieties of joy to be found in the world," Ma recalls. "But joy can't exist in our world without the comfort of peace. As we all draw closer and closer together in this world, nothing is more important. So as much as the music in this album is about joy, it is also about peace, about the two operating in tandem. I am really excited to know that I have all these fabulous colleagues who think the same way."

On Songs of Joy & Peace, some of the artists Ma collaborates with include James Taylor (Here Comes the Sun), Alison Krauss (Wexford Carol), Renee Fleming (Touch the Hand of Love), Diana Krall (You Couldn't be Cuter), Joshua Redman (My One & Only Love), Sergio and Odair Assad (Vassourinhas), Dave Brubeck (Concordi Laetitia), Chris Botti (My Favorite Things), and Dave and Matt Brubeck (Joy to the World).

Songs of Joy & Peace has been chosen as a featured holiday selection at Starbucks and will be sold beginning November 4th at select Starbucks locations nationwide.

Also available is a special deluxe edition of Songs of Joy & Peace featuring an expanded booklet and an exclusive DVD showcasing five music videos of Yo-Yo Ma joining forces with guest artists James Taylor ("Here Comes the Sun"), Alison Krauss ("The Wexford Carol"), Renee Fleming ("Touch the Hand of Love"), Diana Krall ("You Couldn't Be Cuter") and Chris Botti ("My Favorite Things") In addition, the Songs of Joy & Peace bonus DVD premieres a behind-the-scenes 60-minute video documenting the making of the album.

To celebrate the release of Songs of Joy & Peace, Ma teamed up with Indaba Music, the leading social network and online collaboration tool for musicians. Ma has recorded the melody Dona Nobis Pacem and is making it available for other musicians to record to it - creating a virtual collaboration. The music can be downloaded as part of a contest hosted on Indaba Music to create the most original and interesting counter melody or most creative set of variations. The Indaba Music community will vote for their favorites and Ma will choose the winner who will have the opportunity to record with him.

For the latest information, visit http://www.yo-yoma.com/.

RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz are labels of SONY BMG Masterworks. For email updates and information regarding RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz artists, promotions, tours and repertoire, please visit www.sonybmgmasterworks.com.

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SOURCE: Sony BMG Masterworks

CONTACT: Kim Correro of Nancy Seltzer & Assoc., +1-212-307-0117,
kcorrero@nsapr.com, or Susan Schiffer of Sony BMG Masterworks,
+1-212-833-4763, or Susan.Schiffer@sonybmg.com; or Silke Zimmermann of Sony
BMG Masterworks, +49-89-41369646, Silke.Zimmermann@sonybmg.com

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