Indian American tabla player Sandeep Das was part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble that won a Grammy in the ‘Best World Music Album’ category for “Sing Me Home.” Yo-Yo Ma’s ‘Sing Me Home’ features tunes composed or arranged by different global artists as it examines the ever-changing idea of home.
The album was released to accompany a documentary on Ma’s project entitled ‘The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble’.
Apart from Ma and Das, musicians on the album include the New York-based Syrian clarinet player Kinan Azmeh, who was recently stranded overseas when US President Donald Trump imposed a ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Azmeh could return to country after a court rejected Trump’s travel ban order.
Das, who was dressed in red kurta, said the ensemble sent a powerful message of unity and respect for each other’s cultures.
“It is third time lucky for us. I am very proud of who I am and where I come from be it culturally or musically. I wish there were more acknowledgment from my own country for the music that is deep-rooted and in our blood over glitz and glamour,” Das told PTI over phone from Los Angeles just after his win.
“It is not a complaint but merely a wish. I hope there is more awareness about traditional music. I was invited to Harvard University but my alma mater Banaras Hindu University is yet to see something of worth in me.”
Das, who was dressed in a red kurta, said the ensemble sent a powerful message of unity and respect for each other’s cultures. “When things like this happen, it impacts us directly because a lot of us come from a lot of those countries,” Das told reporters after accepting the award. “In the current situation, I think we’ll keep playing more music and sharing more love.”
World Music category also included Anoushka Shankar’s “Land of Gold,” which is about the global refugee crisis. The 35-year-old Indian American musician was accompanied by her husband, British director Joe Wright, at the music ceremony. For a sixth time in a row after being nominated, Shankar did not win a Grammy.
Shankar, the daughter of famous sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, received her first ever Grammy nomination at the age of 20 but she is yet to bag an award despite multiple nominations.However, her late father won two individual Grammys as well as two in collaborations.