Kailin Yong is a violinist, teacher and composer who believes in the power of music to bring about positive change. He has played in the SLV as part of Boulder Acoustic Society and in collaboration with tabla player Andy Skellenger and others. Fri., May 18 at 7:30pm he brings the Peace Project Trio to Leon Memorial for ALMA’s annual member appreciation concert. Admission is free for ALMA members and memberships will be available at the door. Tickets are $15 for non-ALMA members.
The trio blends the elegance of chamber music with the vitality and rootsiness of folk music from all over the globe, driven by the grounding groove of world percussion. The original music featured in the Peace Project is a chronicle of Yong’s musical exploration of many cultures in the world.
Yong was born and raised in Singapore. In 1992, he caused his parents considerable heartache and consternation when he tore up an admission letter from engineering school to move to Vienna and pursue his musical interests. While in Vienna, he took the opportunity to travel around Europe, hearing some of the greatest classical artists live and coming into contact with gypsy music.
In 1999, Yong found himself stranded in San Francisco; penniless, friendless and jobless. It was there that he started his career as a street musician in the underground public transit system of the city. It was also in this subterranean concert hall that he started to improvise on his fiddle; making up tunes that represented his mood, telling stories of his life and sharing his deepest emotions.
Since moving to Boulder in the summer of 2000, Yong has been introduced to many different types of music, including bluegrass, jazz, Middle Eastern and Balkan music, and Tango. He was one of the founding members of Boulder Acoustic Society and toured extensively with the group from 2003-2009. Mentor and fiddle wizard Darol Anger called them “the future of String Band Music on a silver platter.”
“My lifelong dream is to become an ambassador of music where I travel around the world promoting friendship and peace by playing my fiddle and working with other like-minded musicians,” Yong said. He has been awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin, named for the violinist, fiddler and Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered in Pakistan in 2002.
ALMA memberships help support programs such as the Sundays at Six series of free outdoor concerts as well as the new SLV Roots Festival, debuting in Cole Park June 15 & 16.
Somebody recently broke into Yong’s car and stole many of his most treasured musical instruments. ALMA will conduct a special collection at the concert to help with the cost of replacing these musical tools. Yong also has a button to make donations on his website, http://kailinyong.com/.