Has played with The Knights since: 2006.
Favorite Knights moment: my favorite part of playing in The Knights is getting to spend time with people I love, both through music, and also hanging out after our rehearsals/concerts. Everyone has been friends for so long that we have a level of comfort not often found in groups of this size!
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.
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 to 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.