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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Yo-Yo Ma

Posted August 2, 2007 8:44 p.m. EDT

How do you define greatness?  In music many would do so by uttering the name of the Yo-Yo Ma.  The incomparable cellist is recognized as one of the finest musicians in the world.

What an honor it was to interview him via satellite on WRAL's Noon News this week!  Valonda Calloway and I asked him about his career and latest album "New Impossibilities."  He was very gracious, interesting and charming in his answer.

But then I asked him about his desire to think and play outside the box.  Though classically trained Yo-Yo Ma is not a purist.  He loves to experiment with different genres of music.

At this point in the interview I was stunned when he started talking about my music with superlatives that I could only dream of.  Wow!  So much for the big worldwide ego.  Yo-Yo Ma turned the interview into a celebration of my music instead of his own.  I was shocked that he even knew who I was but as he put it:  "I know all about you."

How do you define greatness in terms of the human spirit?  Three syllables.  Yo-Yo Ma.  I have never interviewed a more generous and gracious person.  And he just happens to be one of  the most brilliant musicians on the planet.  He is a man of many, many gifts.