HAILED BY YO-YO MA as the "ideal musician of the 21st Century", Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, composer, and educator living in New York City. While still studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and shortly thereafter also joined Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio, which he played in for over three years. Mike has also toured extensively... more
HAILED BY YO-YO MA as the "ideal musician of the 21st Century", Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, composer, and educator living in New York City. While still studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and shortly thereafter also joined Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio, which he played in for over three years. Mike has also toured extensively with Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings and The Knights orchestra.
HIS MOST RECENT ALBUM of original songs, Brick by Brick, features music he wrote and recorded while missing nine teeth, as the result of a traffic accident. In 2011, Mike released Naive Melody, an instrumental folk album with The Triborough Trio, and in 2009 and 2010, released two albums of original music with The Mike Block Band: Words R Words (songs), and After the Factory Closes (instrumental). Mike is also the Artistic Director and Host of GALA Brooklyn: "Global Art = Local Art", a Music Festival held at the Brooklyn Lyceum featuring a diverse array of world-class musicians in unique collaborations.
A DEDICATED TEACHER AND CLINICIAN, Mike founded the Mike Block String Camp in Vero Beach, Florida in 2010, which empowers students to compose, arrange, and perform music by ear, with instruction in multiple non-classical styles. The camp has since expanded to a second week in Florida for Advanced students, as well as a second location in Saline, Michigan. In 2012, Mike was appointed Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music (Boston), and he has been an ongoing Guest Artist/Teacher at Southern Methodist University (Dallas) since 2009. From 2009-2012, Mike was also Lead Teaching Artist for Silk Road Connect, a program in the NYC public schools through which Mike performed and taught with artists from around the world.
MIKE HAS SERVED AS MUSIC DIRECTOR for musicians as diverse as Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin (Grammy-winning vocalist), Marcus Printup (trumpeter from Jazz@Lincoln Center), Emalie Savoy (singer at Metropolitan Opera), Lil’ Buck (hip-hop dancer), Damian Woetzel (Principal at NYC Ballet), Bill Irwin (Comedian/Actor from Sesame Street), the Silk Road Ensemble, and the Knights (Classical orchestra). Other musicians Mike has performed with include will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas), Allison Krauss, Edgar Meyer, Mike Marshall, Zakir Hussain, The National, Bon Iver, My Brightest Diamond, Tim O’Brien, Rachel Barton-Pine, Marcel Khaliffe, Goran Bregovic, Simone Dinnerstein, Dawn Upshaw, Anthony McGill, and he has recorded with Lenny Kravitz, Shakira, Joe Zawinul, Alasdair Fraser, and many others.
MIKE HAS PERFORMED on "Late Night with Conan O’Brian", "Regis and Kelly", NPR’s "St. Paul Sunday Morning", WNYC’s "Soundcheck", APM's "Performance Today", WNBC 4’s Chuck Scarborough Show, VH1, The Disney Channel, and the CBS "Early Show". Mike regularly subbed as on-stage cellist in the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway Musical, "Next to Normal", and he also worked closely with the director of the 2012 film, "A Late Quartet", as a Music Consultant. Mike was the subject of a 2011 feature article in the Wall Street Journal, and was reviewed by the NY times as having "vital, rich-hued solo playing".
Mike proudly uses a cello from the Wayne Burak Shop in Dallas, Texas, as well as D’Addario strings, and a David Gage Realist Pick-up.less