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Yo-Yo Ma Sends Message Of Unity By Playing Cello On Both Sides Of US-Mexico Border


World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma is most known for his musical talents. The 63-year-old Ma recently brought his cello skills to the U.S.-Mexico border to make a statement about global unity. The musical performance was a part of an event – called Day of Action, celebrating the relationship between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. For Ma, the performance went beyond just music but a call to action urging people to “build bridges, not walls.”

The performance is part of Ma’s Bach Project, where he performs music by Sebastian Bach in various locations around the world.

Ma played Bach’s Suite No. 1 in a park across to the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, one of the bridges that connects both U.S. and Mexican cities. The bridges are significant not just for where they’re located but their role in U.S-Mexico relations.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, 37 percent of the $612 billion in exports and imports between the U.S. and Mexico last year came through Laredo’s three international bridges. The bridges are also one of many ports of entries along the border where asylum-seekers and other immigrants can go to request entry in the U.S.

“As you all know, as you did and do and will do, in culture, we build bridges, not walls,” Ma said in a speech at his performance. “I’ve lived my life at the borders. Between cultures. Between disciplines. Between musics. Between generations.”

When performing on the Mexico side, Ma played the same songs and gave a similar speech on that end. Despite having a translator for him, Ma tried his best to speak Spanish to the crowd.

Many at the performance couldn’t help but feel inspired my Ma’s work.

Mateo Bailey, 16, who lives in San Antonio, also plays the cello and is the son of Grammy award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey. He told NPR News that Ma’s message connected to him because of his Mexican-American background.

“I’m half-Mexican as well as half-American,” Bailey told NPR. “For him to connect cello with what’s happening in the world is like, it’s a cultural bridge that was just built, and it’s amazing.”

For Ma, the performance is a reflection of what he wants to see in this world during divided times. Music is universal to so many people and is a way various different cultures unite as one.

“We live in a world of boundless possibility, but we also face daunting challenges, even to our very survival,” Ma says about his Bach Project. “I believe that during times of stress, confusion, and insecurity, we should share sources that offer comfort, purpose, and meaning. Bach does that. When his music touches us, it reconnects us to our common humanity.”

READ: Cypress Hill Will Become First Latino Hip-Hop Group With Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

AnyClip - Ozuna Addresses Extortion Plot During Billboard Latin Music Week Q&A, Apologizes Again

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AnyClip – Ozuna Addresses Extortion Plot During Billboard Latin Music Week Q&A, Apologizes Again

Ozuna fans were shocked at the beginning of the year when they heard about an extortion plot that was consuming the reggaetonero. The singer was paying tens of thousands of dollars to keep the extorter from releasing sexually explicit videos of Ozuna when he was a teenager. Despite apologizing in January, Ozuna apologized to fans again at his Billboard Latin Music Week Q&A.

Ozuna used his Billboard Latin Music Week Q&A to address his fans on an ongoing controversy.

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Credit: @billboardlatin / Twitter

Ozuna started his 45-minute long Q&A with Leia Cobo by directly addressing his fans about the extortion drama. He candidly used his own experience to speak to his fans about the importance of owning up to your action and past.

“People say you don’t have to apologize. Of course, I have to apologize,” Ozuna told Cobo during his Q&A.

The young musician admitted that he felt his fans deserved an explanation for his actions.

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Credit: @ozuna / Instagram

For Ozuna, the apologies he has released for the extortion plot were necessary to thank those who stand behind him. Regardless of the fame and success he has experienced, he knows the importance of being open with his fans and the necessity of giving them the most honest representation of who he is.

The singer is most appreciative for his family, who are his biggest supporters.

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Credit: @ozuna / Instagram

“My family, my wife and my kids, they know who I am,” Ozuna told the audience when answering a question about balancing negative and positive news coverage. “As long as we are with god we have nothing to fear.”

“Life is balance. It is positive and negative balance. I am not the only person who has been born with difficulties. There are errors that you make when you’re young,” Ozuna added. “I am still a human.”

This is the second time Ozuna has apologized because of the extortion plot.

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Credit: @valliexo2 / Instagram

“Like many young people, I made a mistake, fueled by ignorance,” Ozuna wrote. “Today, I’m not only sorry for what happened, but I condemn it. That’s why I looked for help and I am certain everything will be cleared. Likewise, I’m following the process and am always willing to collaborate with authorities to prevent the evil that resulted from this big mistake. More importantly, I ask my family for forgiveness. They are my life’s priority and I will continue to fight for them always.”

Shortly after his apology, it was announced that late LGBTQ+ trap artist Kevin Fret was behind the extortion.

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Credit: kevin fret / YouTube

Kevin Fret’s death at the beginning of the year set off a firestorm of fear and anger within the LGBTQ+ community. Fret was shot and killed while riding his motorbike through San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ozuna’s team came forward and admitted that Fret was the man behind the extortion plot threatening Ozuna’s career unless he got payments from the singer. However, Ozuna’s manager, after meeting with the San Juan District Attorney, said Ozuna was in no way implicated in the tragic death. Yet, Fret’s mother is adamant that Ozuna is responsible for her son’s death.

“I know that it was him [Ozuna] who ordered my son to be killed, together with Vicente Saavedra,” Hild Rodriguez, Fret’s mother, told Samantha Love on her radio show in April 2019. “Ozuna carries this in his conscience.”

Fans came out strong to support Ozuna during this time and defended him on social media.

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Credit: @weedlejuice / Twitter

There is nothing funny about extortion based on sexually explicit material. That is revenge porn, a form of pornography that is being outlawed and turned into a felony offense in several states in the U.S. Not to mention that the video of Ozuna is allegedly him as a minor and has serious criminal implications if it would be released.

READ: Ozuna Is Working With The FBI And Miami Police Department About An Attempted Extortion

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