Yo-Yo Ma gives surprise performance after jab at vaccine site

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JANUARY 20: In this screengrab, Yo-Yo Ma speaks during the Celebrating America Primetime Special on January 20, 2021. The livestream event hosted by Tom Hanks features remarks by president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris and performances representing diverse American talent. (Photo by Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images )

(NEXSTAR) Yo-Yo Ma celebrated receiving the COVID-19 vaccine the way he knows best: by performing on his cello at the vaccination center.

After receiving his second dose at Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts, the 65-year-old world-renowned cellist put on an impromptu concert during his 15-minute observation period, according to local news reports.

Taking a seat along the wall of the observation area, a masked and socially distanced Ma performed to an applauding audience.

Songs included “Ave Maria” and Bach’s Prelude in G Major.

Ma  “wanted to give something back,” Richard Hall of the Berkshire COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative told The Berkshire Eagle. 

The cellist lives in the Berkshires part-time.

The performance comes exactly one year after Ma began a twitter project called #SongsOfComfort, in which he played music to help soothe a worried public. In December, he and British pianist Kathryn Stott released “Songs of Comfort and Hope,” inspired by the project.

According to the New York Times, Ma also gave a handful of pop-up performances with pianist Emanuel Ax for groups of bus drivers, health care providers, firefighters and other essential workers in the Berkshires area.

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