Cello maestro Yo-Yo Ma is at home in the world of classical music, performing works by the likes of Mozart and Chopin. But the Cambridge resident doesn’t mind dipping his toes into pop or hip-hop from time to time.
The world-renowned cellist met up with TV hosts Desus Nice and The Kid Mero to film a segment for their Showtime series “Desus and Mero” in Harvard Square, with Ma showcasing both his comedy chops and his ability to play songs after just one listen.
After clowning around outside Harvard Yard for a bit, the trio went to La Flamme Barbershop on Dunster Street, where Ma spoke passionately about how he considers the cello “a living thing,” lovingly describing the wood, strings, vibrations, in great detail.
“You made a cello sound very sexy,” Mero said. “I want to have a baby with a cello right now.”
“In some states there are laws against that,” Ma joked.
After a little more chatter, Desus and Mero had Ma play his way through contemporary songs by Britney Spears, Sisqó, and the late DMX.
Finally, the hosts had Ma play one of his favorite songs, “Song of the Birds” by Pablo Casals. As Ma finished, the pair commented on how Ma ascended to “another plane” while playing.
“This is my weed,” Ma said.
“So you want to hit the … hit the cello?” Mero asked.
“Exactly,” Ma replied.
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