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Matt Sorum Teams Up With Yo-yo Ma To Campaign For U.s. Arts Funding


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Rocker Matt Sorum and classical cellist Yo-yo Ma staged an impromptu gig on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (09Apr13) as they campaigned for increased funding for the arts.

The odd pair joined forces to perform for U.S. politicians and fellow arts advocates ahead of a planned visit to the U.S. congressional offices to lobby for the cause, which has suffered as a result of heavy federal budget cuts by President Barack Obama's government.

Sorum, who recently launched his own arts education charity in Los Angeles, reveals he felt compelled to make his voice heard because music lessons in high school helped to pave the way for his rock career as a former member of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver.

Continue reading: Matt Sorum Teams Up With Yo-yo Ma To Campaign For U.s. Arts Funding

George Clooney And Denzel Washington Are 'Men On Fire'


George Clooney Antonio Banderas Brian Williams Colin Firth Denzel Washington Don Cheadle GEORGE STRAIT James Brolin John Irving Jon Bon Jovi Liam Neeson Mario Van Peebles Rupert Everett Scott Bakula The Cut Viggo Mortensen Yo-Yo Yo-yo Ma

George Clooney, Colin Firth and Denzel Washington have been named as the sexiest men over 50.

The actors are among 21 hunks to make AARP magazine's 'Men on Fire' list of older heartthrobs.

Other stars to make The Cut include actors Viggo Mortensen, Liam Neeson and Samuel Jackson, rocker Jon Bon Jovi and Antonio Banderas.

Continue reading: George Clooney And Denzel Washington Are 'Men On Fire'

Yo-yo Ma Performs With Renee Fleming And Chicago School Choir


Yo-yo Ma Renee Fleming

The renowned cellist Yo-yo Ma has performed a collaboration with a high school choir from Chicago, in order to promote education in the arts. The performance also included the soprano Renee Fleming and took place at the State of Illinois building in downtown Chicago.

Accompanied by the students, Ma and Fleming led a performance of 'America the Beautiful.' The performance marked a collaboration between the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Renee Fleming Initiative and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Citizen Musician Initiative. The aim of both programmes is to spread enthusiasm for and enjoyment of music in the communities around Chicago. In the Washington Post, Yo-Yo Ma is quoted as saying "An integrated arts curriculum is to me, it means that we have people who are in touch with who they are on the inside and in touch with what they can receive from the outside. That to me will create the best possible work force."

The performance was attended by Chicago's Governor Pat Quinn and earlier in the day, the two classical music stars had visited Lake View High School, where they attended classes. Renee Fleming said that the purpose of the collaboration was "very much about making sure kids are able to express themselves in all of the arts and have access to and exposure to the visual arts and theater and music and dance and try all of it. Because that's how they figure out who they are."

Neil Diamond Honored By Obama In Washington


Neil Diamond Meryl Streep Yo-yo Ma Barbara Cook Kennedy Barack Obama Sarah Jessica Parker Herbie Hancock Robert De Niro Tracey Ullman

Neil Diamond was among those honoured in Washington over the weekend, the performer receiving one of the most prestigious arts awards in America after being given a Kennedy Center Honour alongside actress Meryl Streep, jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins, cellist Yo-yo Ma and Broadway legend Barbara Cook. There was a special poignancy for the 69 year-old - hosting the ceremony was former president John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy, of whom his famous hit 'Sweet Caroline' is named after.

Continue reading: Neil Diamond Honored By Obama In Washington

Neil Diamond Gets Engaged


Neil Diamond Barbara Cook Meryl Streep Yo-yo Ma

Neil Diamond has got engaged to his manager.

The 70-year-old singer has announced his happy news on twitter and admitted he is completely "love-struck".

Writing in a rhyming couplet to resemble a song lyric, he tweeted: "Good news coming from sunny LA/ and you're the first I want to tell/ Katie & I just got engaged/ and I hope you wish us well. Neil."

Continue reading: Neil Diamond Gets Engaged

The 30th Annual Kennedy Center Honors State Department Dinner

Yo-yo Ma - Yo-Yo Ma and guest Washington DC, USA - The 30th Annual Kennedy Center Honors State Department dinner Saturday 1st December 2007

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Yo-yo Ma

Metallica's Unlikely Morricone Tribute


Metallica Ennio Morricone Andrea Bocelli Yo-yo Ma Bruce Springsteen Celine Dion James Hetfield

Rockers Metallica have stunned fans by signing up for a Ennio Morricone tribute project.
The group have used the composer's THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY track THE ECSTASY OF GOLD to open their stage shows since 1983, and now the US band will repay the musical favour with a cover version of the song for a tribute album due out later this year (07).
The Metallica cover features on WE ALL LOVE ENNIO MORRICONE, alongside offerings from an assorted array of other celebrity Morricone fans including opera star Andrea Bocelli, Yo-yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen and Celine Dion.
Frontman James Hetfield says, "I've been inspired by Morricone's raw unbridled emotion, especially in his western scores."
Morricone has written music for more than 400 film and television shows.

Oprah + Aniston Mock Wedding Reports


Oprah Winfrey Jennifer Aniston Yo-yo Ma Coldplay Vince Vaughn

Oprah Winfrey invited pal Jennifer Aniston to call into her TV show recently so the pair could address incorrect rumours the media mogul was planning to stage the actress' nuptials at her California estate. The stars mocked reports about an $8 million (GBP4.6 million) reception, which Winfrey was planning to stage at her exclusive Santa Barbara County home, complete with performances by cellist Yo-yo Ma and Coldplay. Aniston, whose telephone chat with Winfrey aired on US TV yesterday (17APR06), said, "It sounds like you're giving me Santa Barbara." Aniston also poked fun at press reports that she's desperately house hunting with boyfriend Vince Vaughn, adding, "I'm really good, I've got my house." Winfrey also used the show to ridicule reports she has split from longtime boyfriend STEADMAN GRAHAM. The media queen insists one US tabloid took the story too far when they got hold of photos of Winfrey dropping her beau off at the airport. She mocked, "The photo they have, I was asking him, 'Are you sure you have your ticket?' but it said I was very angry that 'the tension between us could be felt by everyone in the vicinity.'" She reassured fans, "If we ever do (break-up) I promise, I promise the night it happens, if it ever happens, I will come on TV the next day and tell you."

Yo-Yo Ma Urges Us Government To Speed Up Visa Processes


Yo-yo Ma

Acclaimed cellist Yo-yo Ma has testified at a reform committee in Washington DC on Tuesday (04APR06), claiming America's strict immigration policy has harmful effects on international recording artists. The Chinese-American musician, who was born in France, took the stand in front of the House of Representatives' Government Reform Committee and spoke out against delays in processing visas. The artistic director of the Silk Road Project - which brings together the talents of international artists - said, "I'm 50 years old. I've played the cello for 46 years. Of the last 30 years of being a professional musician, I've spent the equivalent of 20 on the road. "Music and travel are constants for me. In my mind, they stem from the same fundamentally human sources: an eagerness to explore new territory and a passion for learning. "The barriers to bringing these musicians, these cultural guides, to the US have become extraordinarily high. We have found it increasingly difficult to facilitate this cultural exchange, because of high financial costs, uncertain timelines, and countless logistical hurdles."

Beyonce Reigns Supreme At The Grammys


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Beyonce Knowles was crowned queen of the GRAMMYS last night (08FEB04) when she picked up a staggering five gongs at the music world's Oscars.

The singer stole the show with two stunning performances, including an opening extravaganza with PRINCE - and then watched as one by one five of her six nominations for megahit Crazy In Love and number one album DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE claimed prizes.

The DESTINY'S CHILD singer missed out on a clean sweep when British group Coldplay grabbed their sole award of the night in the Record of The Year category for CLOCKS.

Continue reading: Beyonce Reigns Supreme At The Grammys

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