Cristina Pato (Ourense, 1980)
Galician bagpiper, pianist, educator, writer & producer.
Silkroad: Artist and Advisor.
New York University: King Juan Carlos Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization
Harvard University: Silkroad Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute Director – (Educational co-chair)

Internationally acclaimed Galician bagpiper master, classical pianist and passionate educator, Cristina Pato enjoys an active professional career devoted to cultural exchange and to creating new paths for her unique instrument. Her dual careers have led to performances on major stages throughout the world, including regular tours in the U.S. and Europe and sporadic tours in India, Jerusalem , Angola, China, Korea, Mexico, Turkey, and her native Spain. Ms. Pato serves as Learning Advisor for Silkroad (founded by Yo-Yo Ma) and is an active touring artist and composer.

In 1999, Cristina Pato became the first female gaita player to release a solo album, and since then she has collaborated with world music, jazz, classical and experimental artists (including Chicago Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma, Arturo O’Farril, New York Philharmonic, Paquito D’Rivera and dancers Damian Woetzel and Lil’ Buck). Ms. Pato’s unique and powerful style, full of passion and energy, has been acclaimed by The New York Times as “a virtuosic burst of energy”; The Wall Street Journal has called her “one of the living masters of the gaita”. Ms. Pato fuses the influences of Latin music, jazz, pop and contemporary music, and uses her artistry and unprecedented virtuosic skill to bring her musical vision to life.

An active recording artist and performer since age 12, Ms. Pato has released and produced six solo gaita recordings and two as a pianist. She has also collaborated on more than 40 recordings as a guest artist, including the Grammy Award winner Yo-Yo Ma and Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace (SONY BMG 2008) and the jazz album Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain (Entertainment One Music, 2011). She is also featured in the documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble directed by academy award winner director Morgan Neville. Cristina is the leader of the Cristina Pato QUARTET (USA), the Cristina Pato GALICIAN TRIO (Europe) and an active producer and artistic director of multidiscipinary events, including her own festival Galician Connection, and productions for other artists like Yo-Yo Ma’s The Bach Project, or the project Invisible(s) 2020.

Cristina Pato QUARTET (USA)

The Cristina Pato Quartet is a unique blend of jazz, latin-jazz and world music with New York based musicians, composers and arrangers Edward Perez (bass), Julien Labro (accordion) and Mauricio Zottarelli/Juan Felipe Mayorga (drums).

Cristina Pato Galician Trio

Cristina’s Galician Trio explores the connections between Galician music, jazz and contemporary music through the experience of the versatile Galician musicians and arrangers Roberto Comesaña (accordion) and Miguel Cabana (percussion). A fascinating format that celebrates the diversity of 21st century Galician music.


Yo-Yo Ma conceived Silkroad in 1998 as a reminder that even as rapid globalization resulted in division, it brought extraordinary possibilities for working together. Seeking to understand this dynamic, he began to learn about the historical Silk Road, recognizing in it a model for productive cultural collaboration, for the exchange of ideas and tradition alongside commerce and innovation. And in a radical experiment, he brought together musicians from the lands of the Silk Road to co-create a new artistic idiom, a musical language founded in difference, a metaphor for the benefits of a more connected world.

Today, these Grammy Award-winning artists seek and practice radical cultural collaboration in many forms, creating and presenting new music, teacher and musician training workshops, and residency programs in schools, museums, and communities.

Cristina serves as Learning Advisor, teacher and artist for Silkroad since 2006.


Invisibles(s)Invisible(s) is a new and exciting project by Cristina Pato in collaboration with violinist and composer Mazz Swift. Invisible(s) features an amazing combination of stories and music, with compositions by Cristina and Mazz and four new pieces by Michi Wiancko, Alisa Rose, Dana Lyn and Octavio Vázquez, commissioned by Cristina specifically for this project.


Cristina is constantly collaborating with interdisciplinary artists as a soloist. In 2014 Cristina’s groundbreaking Gaita & Orchestra Commissioning Project was awarded a grant from New Music USA to build a repertoire for gaita and symphony orchestra. Galician bagpipe concertos commissioned by Pato have been premiered with Sphinx Orchestra in Detroit, Chicago Sinfonietta in Chicago, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès in Barcelona and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.