World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed a concert at the U.S. southern border on Sunday, playing his music to inspire a message of unity to “build bridges” instead of walls.
Ma was dually greeted in “Los Dos Laredos” by Enrique Rivas, mayor of Nuevo Laredo in Mexico, as well as Pete Saenz, mayor of Laredo, Texas, as he performed his “Bach Project” at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico.
#BachProject in “Los Dos Laredos” — in U.S. and Mexico — yesterday.
— Yo-Yo Ma (@YoYo_Ma) April 14, 2019
“I’ve lived my life at the borders. Between cultures. Between disciplines. Between musics. Between generations,” said Ma.
The world-renowned cellist also proclaimed that “a country is not a hotel and it’s not full,” pushing the message that immigration should be embraced instead of denounced.
“In culture, we build bridges, not walls,” he added.
Watch the video below:
Ma’s reasoning for bringing the “Bach Project” to the border is “during times of stress, confusion, and insecurity, we should share sources that offer comfort, purpose, and meaning.”
“Bach does that,” the cellist said. “When his music touches us, it reconnects us to our common humanity,” elaborating on why he thinks the project can be used as a tool to unify people around the world.
“…we build bridges, not walls.”
If you need a reminder today of all the good that exists in our country, watch this video of Yo-Yo Ma performing a piece by Bach at our Southern border. https://t.co/oxmVpekYzD
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) April 15, 2019
At the event, Texas Mayor Pete Saenz also expressed his gratitude to host the “greatest cellist of the world,” awarding Ma with an honorary key to the city.
“Nowhere else in the world do you find a border, where the countries are so distinct, but yet so connected,” Saenz said. “And yet in Laredo, these differences are subtle.”
“We speak the same languages, we have family and friends on both sides of this international border, and most importantly we live as one large and diverse community,” he continued.
Watch the video below:
”It was truly an honor to host the greatest cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma. His visit reminds us of how culture connects all of us.” #LaredoProud.
Posted by Mayor Pete Saenz on Sunday, April 14, 2019
The mayor went on to say how this was a “perfect example of how culture unites us,” echoing Ma’s message that we should work on achieving unity through connecting culture.