The classical musician has conducted his Bach project on tour in Laredo, Texas, hoping that his music will connect people, regardless of their cultural differences.
"I've lived my life on the borders, between cultures, between disciplines, between music, between generations," said Ma, who played with the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, which connects Texas and New York. Mexico, in the background. "In culture, we build bridges, not walls – a country is not a hotel and it is not full."
Ma's performance was scheduled as part of a day of action, a joint event involving Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, to celebrate the common culture of neighboring border towns. His appearance came as President Trump pursued his goal of building a wall along the southern border of the United States.
After the concert, Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz gave Ma a key to the city.
"It was truly an honor to welcome the world's greatest cellist, Yo-Yo Ma," said Saenz, "and his visit reminds us how much culture connects us all."