Friday, May 3, 2024
Mike Block is a pioneering cello player, singer, composer, and educator, passionate about cross-cultural collaboration through music. Acclaimed by the New York Times for his "vital rich-hued solo playing”, and by Salt Lake City Desert News as “a true artist... a sight to behold”, Mike Block “is one of the bravest, most intriguing musicians on the American fusion scene.” (Gramophone). Mike's performances offer a rich mixture of classical repertoire, folk music, original compositions, and songs. Since 2005, Mike has been a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, with which he has been featured as both cello and vocal soloist, contributed arrangements and compositions, and earned a Grammy Award in 2017 for their album Sing Me Home.
Mike is among the first wave of cellists to adopt a strap to stand and move while performing. Using his patented design, The Block Strap. Mike was the first standing cellist to perform at Carnegie Hall, which the New York Times characterized as "breathless ... half dance, half dare." In 2020, Mike founded Play For The Vote, which organizes musical performances at polling locations across the country on Election Day, with the goal of increasing voter turnout by providing a more positive voting experience. As an educator, he is the founder/Director of two summer programs: the Mike Block String Camp, as well as Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop. Mike teaches online through his Multi-Style Cello School at ArtistWorks.com, and is on faculty of New England Conservatory.