New duo album with South African guitarist Derek Gripper

I've got a new self-released duo album with the fantastic South African guitarist Derek Gripper that we spontaneously recorded one day while he was visiting, and is called "Saturday Morning in Boston" - we hope you enjoy, and purchase, and share! :) Get it here: https://newcape.bandcamp.com/a…/saturday-morning-in-boston-2
The compositions are a mix of songs by (or inspired by) African singers - Salif Keita, Fanta Sacko, Baaba Maal, Chiwoniso and South Africa's own Madosini, as well as five originals, all arranged with an improvisational freshness.

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Mike Block
Joined faculty of New England Conservatory of Music

I’m very excited to begin teaching in the Contemporary Improvisation program at this legendary school, and work with a new community of faculty and students interested in pushing the creativity of our next generation! https://necmusic.edu/contemporary-improvisation

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Mike Block
I wrote a book! :) "Contemporary Cello Etudes" is released by Berklee Press

This etude book features a groundbreaking collection of 28 Non-Classical cello etudes, composed by 13 contributors, from a range of stylistic backgrounds, available by clicking HERE!

Progressively ordered from Beginner to Advanced, all 28 published etudes come with the following:

  1. Background Text on the style/technique

  2. Tips on how to practice it and master your performance

  3. Online reference recordings played by the composers (You can access these with a code that comes with the book)

  4. A list of “Ideas for Further Practice” (We hope that each etude is just a jumping off point for your own creative journey!)

You can watch this informational video from our initial fundraising campaign HERE!

LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS: Ashley Bathgate (member of Bang on a Can All-Stars), Stephan Braun (jazz cellist from Berlin), Rushad Eggleston (rhythm goblin from the Land of Sneth), Rufus Cappadocia (African cello specialist), Erik Friedlander (modern jazz cellist with John Zorn’s Masada Trio), Eugene Friesen (GRAMMY-winning multi-style cellist), Natalie Haas (Celtic cellist with Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser), Giovanni Sollima (cellist/composer from Italy), Mark Summer (GRAMMY-winning founder of Turtle Island Quartet), Jacob Szekely (jazz cellist and educator at String Project Los Angeles), Matt Turner (jazz cellist and educator at Lawrence University), Jeffrey Zeigler (former member of the Kronos Quartet), Mike Block (GRAMMY-winning member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble)

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Mike Block
Performed in Guangzhou, China with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Pamela Frank, Michael Stern, and more!

Had a great time in January performing with so many great musicians, and Directing the "Silk Road Workshops" as part of the 2018 Youth Music Culture Guangdong festival! Highlights included performing a duo with one of my childhood idols, Edgar Meyer,  playing a Beethoven Quartet with the legendary violinist Pamela Frank, playing Beethoven 3rd Symphony with Maestro Michael Stern at the helm, and leading the entire orchestra in an Encore Finale of an original tune of mine - check out the fun video by clicking HERE!

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Mike Block