©The UK Chinese Ensemble 1998-2010

World of Strings

In October and November 2005, Cheng Yu toured in the Netherlands with World of Strings, a project of Dutch guitar virtuoso Jan Kuiper, in which the world's best string players formed a group. In the recent past he had already successfully teamed up guitarists representing styles like folk, rock, jazz and flamenco [www.fivegreatguitars.com]. In this first edition of World of Strings, Jan Kuiper presented three string wizards from the great world music continents Asia and Africa. These musicians belong to the absolute elite in their native countries. Besides guitarist Jan Kuiper, the group was complemented by two percussionists. The group is an absolute hit at jazz and world music festivals all over the world.

India and China

The string instruments from India and China are the sitar and the pipa. The sitar is the ultimate instrument to resound the fluent melodic movements - the raga - and the numbers of glissandos that are so remarkable for Indian vocal music. The four stringed pipa is closely related to the European lute and is famed for its unique richness of expression. The tabla, which takes care of the rhythmic accompaniment, consist of two small drums. By hammering with the fingers and/or pressing on the drum skin the player has a rich tone pallette at his disposal.


The kora from West Africa is a 24-stringed harp which has a calabash for a body. The kora's sound is very percussive and combines well with the sabar and djembé, Africa's most important drums. The African high life guitar style is a translation of kora melodies towards the more western oriented electric guitar.

The musicians will play in different combinations and styles and all in traditional outfits. During the first set solos, duos and trios will interchange, while in the second set the whole group will perform. All this makes World of Strings a great festival act.


Purbayan Chatterjee - Gifted sitar player from India.

Cheng Yu - internationally renowned pipa soloist from Beijing, China.

Zoumana Diarra - Multi-instrumentalist from Mali. Plays kora and guitar during the show.

Jan Kuiper - Top Dutch guitarist. Performed with all the great jazz and world musicians.

Niti Ranjan Biswas - Fabulous tabla player from Bangladesh.

Moussé Pathé M'Baye - Grand master of percussion - sabar en djembé - from Senegal.