Recognized as the world's premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy Award-nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a composer, soloist, and educator giving her lute-like instrument - which has a history of two thousand years in China - a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Through numerous trips to her native China, Wu Man has premiered hundreds of new works for the pipa, while spearheading multimedia projects to both preserve and create awareness of China's ancient musical traditions. Her adventurous spirit and virtuosity have led to collaborations across artistic disciplines allowing Wu Man to reach wider audiences as she works to break through cultural and musical borders.
In May 2012 Wu Man released her album Borderlands, the final installment of the acclaimed ten-volume "Music of Central Asia" ethnographic series, produced by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Culture Heritage that traces the history of the pipa in China. The Borderlands project led Wu Man to the outskirts of the country to collaborate with musical cultures along the Silk Road including Tajikistan and China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China. The result is a DVD and sound recording of folk musicians who would not Otherwise be heard outside these regions, and who represent the very beginnings of the pipa's musical tradition. Musicians featured on the album include Abduvali Abdurashidov, Sirojiddin Juraev, Ma Ersa, Abdulla Majnun, Hesenjan Tursun, Sanubar Tursun, and Yasin Yaqup.
SOURCE: Louisville Culture Vulture