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Yo-Yo Ma quotes

My job as a performer is to make sure that whatever happens in a performance lives in somebody else, that it's memorable... If you forget tomorrow what you heard yesterday, there's really not much point in you having been there - or me, for that matter.

Things can fall apart, or threaten to, for many reasons, and then there's got to be a leap of faith. Ultimately, when you're at the edge, you have to go forward or backward; if you go forward, you have to jump together.

Good things happen when you meet strangers.

As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody's individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.

I learn something not because I have to, but because I really want to. That's the same view I have for performing. I'm performing because I really want to, not because I have to bring bread back home.

The role of the musician is to go from concept to full execution. Put another way, it's to go from understanding the content of something to really learning how to communicate it and make sure it's well-received and lives in somebody else.

After reaching 50, I began to wonder what the root of life is.

The tango is really a combination of many cultures, though it eventually became the national music of Argentina.

When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.

But an innovation, to grow organically from within, has to be based on an intact tradition, so our idea is to bring together musicians who represent all these traditions, in workshops, festivals, and concerts, to see how we can connect with each other in music.

One of the things I love about music is live performance.

As a musician I'm kind of nomadic, Waldo-like. I show up in different places, and I'm witness to unbelievable things.

I realized late in life that my twin passions are music and people.

I remember when I was growing up. My great wish was to understand who I was and how I fit in the world.

I think anybody who goes away finds you appreciate home more when you return.

I think one of the great things about being a musician is that you never stop learning.

I think that peace is, in many ways, a precondition of joy.

Jazz has been such a force in music, that any musician, including classical composers, have been influenced, and obviously performers, also.

Music is powered by ideas. If you don't have clarity of ideas, you're just communicating sheer sound.

My involvement in the political arena is to make sure there's a place for culture.