|Born||May 25, 1982|
|Origin||New York City, USA|
|Genres||Classical music, folk music, jazz, fiddling, bluegrass, oldtime, Rock, Pop, Blues, Scottish, Appalachian, Asian, Arabic|
|Occupations||Cellist, arranger, composer, record producer, software designer|
|Instruments||Cello, electric bass, fiddle|
|Years active||fl. ca. 1986–present|
|Associated acts||Yo-Yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble, Mark O'Connor, Darol Anger|
Michael Glen Block (born May 25, 1982) is an American cellist, composer, arranger, and solo artist hailed as "the ideal musician of the twenty-first century" by cultural icon Yo-Yo Ma. Mike Block has worked with Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Lenny Kravitz, Shakira, The National, Joe Zawinul, Alison Krauss, Rachel Barton Pine, Mark O'Connor, and other notable musicians. Block currently plays with the Silk Road Ensemble. He has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, National Public Radio's St. Paul Sunday, Regis and Kelly, VH1, the Disney Channel, WNBC-TV with Chuck Scarborough, and the CBS Early Show.
- 1 Education
- 2 Performances
- 3 Compositions
- 4 Musical director
- 5 Teaching
- 6 Collaborative projects
- 7 Current ensemble member
- 8 Former ensemble member of the following groups
- 9 Discography
- 10 Music festival
- 11 Television/movie credits
- 12 Automobile accident
- 13 References
- 14 External links
- 15 Supporting Links
Suzuki Pedagogy: 2006. School For Strings, NYC Primary Teacher: Pamela Devenport
Appointed Associate Professor by The Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Mike begins teaching there in Spring, 2013.
Block is most famous for playing second cello alongside Yo-Yo Ma. He performed in Mark O'Connor's Appalachia Waltz trio for three years. His performances have been described as "vital, rich-hued solo playing" by the New York Times, and "a true artist ... a sight to behold" by the Salt Lake City Deseret News.
Mike Block's Cello Concerto, Movement 1 was completed in 2009.
Mr. Block's classical compositions have been performed at the Bremen MusikFest, Tribeca New Music Festival, the Kimmel Center series "Fresh Ink", and the MATA Festival, at which he performed as soloist in his own Cello Concerto in 2009.
His non-classical writing has been featured at festivals such as Rockygrass, Delfest, Celtic Connections, and Wintergrass.
Mike Block has served as musical director to cellist Yo-Yo Ma, singer Bobby McFerrin, ballet star Damien Woetzel, jookin dancer Lil’ Buck, actor/comedian Bill Irwin, jazz trumpeter Marcus Printup, world-music group The Silk Road Ensemble, and classical orchestra The Knights.
A frequent guest lecturer, Mr. Block has presented at Stanford University, Princeton University, Harvard University, New York University, Berklee College of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Belmont University, Southern Methodist University, Sam Houston State University, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and University of Arkansas. In 2006, he received Suzuki method certification in music education from the New York City-based School for Strings, under Pamela Devenport.
In 2009 Mike founded The Mike Block String Camp, which takes place in multiple locations each summer. The camp's goal is to empower musicians of all ages/levels to perform, improvise, compose, and arrange their own music - all by ear. The first location debuted in 2010 in Vero Beach, Florida, followed in 2011 with Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Saline, Michigan in 2012. The world-class faculty has included Darol Anger, Hanneke Cassel, Joe Craven, Rushad Eggleston, Brittany Haas, Natalie Haas, Jeremy Kittel, Clay Ross, Kimber Ludiker, Jefferson Hamer, Victor Lin, Emy Phelps, and Lauren Rioux.
Silk Road Connect: Since 2009, Mike has been the Lead Teaching Artist for Silk Road Connect, a partnership between the Silk Road Project and schools in New York City and Boston areas.
Mike Block Band The Mike Block Band presents an exciting and genre-bending combination of rock, classical, jazz, and folk music through original songs and instrumental compositions, featuring quirky yet honest lyrics, and a variety of musical influences.
Mike Block has also worked with notable musicians such as Edgar Meyer, Mike Marshall, Zakir Hussain, My Brightest Diamond, Bon Iver, Tim O’Brien, Marcel Khaliffe, Goran Bregovic, Kayhan Kalhor and Bruce Molsky.
Triborough Trio Featuring Mike Block (cello), Hans Holzen (guitar), and Kyle Kegerreis (bass), the trio's mission is to put their personal spin on traditional and contemporary music from around the world in well-crafted and creative arrangements.
Duo with Rachel Barton-Pine, Classical Violinist 
Duo with Yang Wei, Chinese Pipa player 
Duo with Darol Anger, Mult-genre fiddler 
Current ensemble member
Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble 
The Knights 
Kristjan Jarvi's Absolute Ensemble 
Former ensemble member of the following groups
- Darol Anger's Republic of Strings
- Mark O’Connor's Appalachia Waltz Trio=
- Bassam Saba's New York Arabic Orchestra
- Sirius String Quartet
- Naïve Melody, 2011. Triborough Trio. Instrumental album featuring traditional and contemporary music from around the world in well-crafted and creative arrangements.
- After the Factory Closes, 2010. Mike Block Band. Instrumental album of all original music that draws upon American Folk, Jazz, Arabic, and Classical Music.
- Words R Words, 2009. Mike Block Band. Song album featuring all originals,they have quirky-yet-honest lyrics, with a variety of musical influences.
- Brick by Brick, 2012. A mostly solo project, featuring songs for cello and voice that were all written and recorded while missing 9 teeth, as the result of a traffic accident.
Mike is also the Artistic Director and host of GALA Brooklyn: "Global Art - Local Art:", a Music Festival in Brooklyn featuring a diverse array of musicians and artists in unique collaborations.
Notable guests include Anthony Mcgill (Metropolitan Opera), Aoife O’Donovan (singer for Crooked Still), Aaron Dugan (guitarist for Matisyahu), Multi-genre violinist/composer Todd Reynolds, Grammy-Nominated classical artists Anastasia Khitruk (violin), and the Enso Quartet, Marcus Printup from Jazz at Lincoln Center, and jazz saxophonist Seamus Blake, and singer-songwriter Amy Correia.
Performed on WNYC's Soundcheck with John Schaefer
On April 4, 2009, Mike Block was struck by a NYC taxi while walking at the corner of W85th St. and West End Ave, in Manhattan. Injuries included broken rib, jaw, cheek, nose, and he lost nine teeth. His reconstruction required multiple surgeries, and his missing teeth were eventually restored on February 15, 2012.
- "Cellist & Composer Mike Block Reinvents Concert Series at Brooklyn Lyceum". Broadway World.
- "Mike Block String Camp opens a world of music to students". VeroNews, Vero Beach, Florida.
- Battaglia, Andy (May 6, 2011). "A Brooklyn Buffet: Local Cellist Launches New Music Fest". Wall St Journal.
- "The Silk Road Project: Mike Block". Silk Road Project.
- "Founder: Mike Block". GALA NYC.
- "Cellist Mike Block recital Nov. 9". Illinois State University.
- "Student Artist Spotlight: Adrianne Ngam '13". The Cornell Daily Sun.
- "Yo-Yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble return to Mondavi". The Davis Enterprise.
- "Appalachia Waltz Trio to Perform Friday, Jan. 18". Phillips Academy Andover.
- Kozinn, Allan (December 14, 2007). "Leaping Borders, Stylistic and Global". New York Times.
- "Mike Block: Quotes". Mike Block.
- "Minimalism and a Stylistic Kaleidoscope". New York Times.
- "The Knights: Mike Block". The Knights.
- "Mike Block String camp". Mike Block.
- "Silk Road Connect". Silk Road Project.
- "Mike Block Band". Mike Block.
- "Triborough Trio". Triborough Trio.
- "Rachel Barton". Rachel Barton-Pine.
- "Duo with Yang Wei". Pipa Sensation.
- "Duo with Darol Anger". Darol Anger.
- "Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble". Silk Road Project.
- "The Knights". The Knights.
- "Kristjan Jarvi's Absolute Ensemble". Absolute Ensemble.
- "GALA Brooklyn". GALA NYC.
GALA NYC links: www.GALAnyc.com Wall Street Journal article:
- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/arts/music/02mata.html - review of cello concerto
Silk road interview: