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Sharing releases, present and past, to brighten your day. WXXI Classical has its eyes and ears on the latest releases from classical artists working today. When we come across a story or a release we think you might enjoy, we’ll be sharing it with you on CD Spotlight. You’ll learn more about the artists online at WXXI Classical, and you’ll hear selections from these artists on FM 91.5. CD Spotlight shares new releases by artists that you’ll want to know and some by great artists and ensembles that deserve to be in the spotlight again.

CD Spotlight: Song by Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Cover of Song by Sheku Kanneh-Mason

“My mum had noticed that I’d become very pale and thin. I’d been drinking loads of water and going to the toilet a lot. The doctor told us that if we’d waited a couple more days, I could have gone into a coma. It was very scary.”

That’s how Sheku Kanneh-Mason found out he had Type 1 diabetes. He was 12 years old. Today he’s an award-winning cellist and Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) who gained international fame when he played at Harry and Meghan’s wedding. He’s also a global ambassador for JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. And his newest release, Song, is our CD Spotlight.

A diabetes diagnosis is a life-altering event, changing everything you do, from the food you eat to the hours you sleep. And Kanneh-Mason took on the challenge: “At first, I worried diabetes would stop me doing what I wanted in life — my main concern being whether I’d still be able to play football. Thankfully, I’ve never felt it’s held me back.”

Since that medical finding, Kanneh-Mason graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and released a string of best-selling CDs with family and friends. In short, he’s become an international star, with Song as the latest of his many successes. It is a sparkling CD, filled with pieces ranging from folk to classical, with a dash of pop thrown in to add a little zing, all tied together by the sweet sound of his cello, the inspiration for the title.

“I’ve learned.” Says Kanneh-Mason, “that you never know what can happen in life. But you can surround yourself with people you trust; family and friends. They make all the difference.” Just as Sheku Kanneh-Mason himself strives to make a difference in the lives of those with Type 1 Diabetes.

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras was the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI Classical until June 30, 2023 when she retired after more than 26 years of service. She also hosted the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.