Sneed exclusive: Yo-Yo Ma to head peace concert at St. Sabina

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Yo-Yo Ma to head peace concert at St. Sabina

The Rev. Michael Pfleger and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Aha! It’s Yo-Yo Ma!

The unmatchable talent of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is heading to an unlikely sanctuary.

St. Sabina Church.

“He wants to bring the music of peace to our neighborhood,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, whose parish nests in the violence-torn Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

The internationally acclaimed cellist, whose performance June 11 in a special “Concert for Peace” was tipped by Sneed on Wednesday — mysteriously showed up at the church months ago with his cello in tow.

“He [Ma] said he wanted to help stem the scourge of violence,” Pfleger told Sneed.

“He just showed up unannounced one Sunday a few months ago and was very serious about doing something,” Pfleger added.

“He said he had been en route to the airport and asked the driver to swing over to the church first because he loved our ministry.


“Then he asked me if he could play right there in church.

“I was stunned!

“It was just before the second service that Sunday. He had his cello with him.

“So he sat in the choir area and played the most beautiful music. I don’t remember what it was . . . but he wanted it to inspire peace . . . and it certainly inspired everyone at church.

“We were all amazed.


“Then he said, ‘Look, I love what you stand for and I could do a concert here right in the sanctuary of the church. It could be an anti-violence concert for peace.’

“He was so kind and so humble. He just wanted to support our work. But what impressed me about him was not just his superior talent, but his gentle and warm spirit. It was the beauty of them both together. Unmatchable.”

The cellist, a creative consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will also be accompanied by musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as well as the Chicago Children’s Choir.

Admission for the 4 p.m. show, an event being touted as “a concert of music that celebrates and inspires a more peaceful Chicago,” is $20 a ticket — with all donations and net ticket proceeds to benefit St. Sabina’s anti-violence and “Strong Futures” employment programs.

“How wonderful is that?” Pfleger said.

Spike ’em . . .

Film director Spike “Chi-Raq” Lee, who is a close Pfleger pal, showed up in full New York Yankees gear at the Cubs vs. Yankees game Saturday night with Pfleger.

“Yeah, he got razzed, but it was all in good fun,” Pfleger said.

“He just called up and said he had tickets to the game and off we went to the second row behind the dugout and then had a bite to eat at Gibsons.”

Did Pfleger sport a Cubs cap?

“I don’t wear hats, period,” chirped Pfleger.

Trump ’em . . .

It may be a shocker President Donald Trump ditched FBI Director James Comey, but the world’s Trumpsters are probably embracing a quote by French General Charles de Gaulle, who once said: “The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.”

That is, if the Trumpsters could actually read.

This & that . . .

• March ’em:  Sneed is told Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, is set to help kick off St. Sabina’s annual End of School Year Rally and Peace March at 7 p.m. June 16, a call for people to take ownership of their block and community and protect our children. “An arrow on the shirt everyone will wear points up to their faces,” Pfleger said.

• Award ’em: U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush is a man of letters. In addition to degrees in theology and political science, Rush will receive an honorary doctoral degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology on Saturday. “I am so very honored,” Rush said.

Sneedlings .  . .

I spy: Yummy! Sneed spotted Billy (The Smashing Pumpkins) Corgan dining at George Trios on Saturday eve in Winnetka. . . . Bears wide receiver Kevin White playing pingpong at SPiN Chicago on Tuesday. . . . New York Yankee and MLB’s home run leader, Aaron Judge, at Harry Caray’s in River North on Friday night. . . . Mike Krzyzewski, Coach K, head basketball coach from Duke University spotted at Ocean Cut on Saturday night. . . . Former Cubbie closer Aroldis Chapman dining with his father at Chicago Cut on Friday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Cam Newton, 28; Prince Royce, 28; and huge belated birthday shoutouts to Tom and Carol Carroll, ageless and priceless.

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