Cellist Mike Block & Guitarist Derek Gripper in Concert!
Mike Block is a celebrated cello player, singer and composer who is a Grammy Award-winning member of the Silk Road Ensemble. Block's solo show features a mixture of original compositions and songs, arrangements of traditional folk music, and classical selections that draw inspiration from his diverse collaborations with artists such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Mark O'Connor, Indian tabla player Sandeep Das, and pop stars such as will.i.am, Stevie Wonder, and Bon Iver.
Block has had a pioneering career as cello player, singer, composer, and educator, and is hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the "ideal musician of the 21st-Century." Passionate about cross-cultural collaboration through music, Mike is committed to inspiring individuals and connecting communities. At home in a wide range of musical styles, through a multi-genre approach to composition, performance and education, he seeks to inspire audiences and empower musicians to find joy in the full world of music.
Mike is member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble (SRE), having joined in 2005 while a student at The Juilliard School. Touring extensively throughout the world with SRE, he has been featured as cello and vocal soloist, contributed arrangements and compositions, and earned a Grammy Award in 2017 for their album, Sing Me Home.
As an innovator, Mike is among the first wave of cellists to adopt a strap in order to stand and move while playing. Employing his patented design, The Block Strap, Mike was the first standing cellist to perform at Carnegie Hall. The NY Times characterized the performance as, "Breathless ... Half dance, half dare."
Renowned guitarist, violist, and composer Derek Gripper has forged a career blending classical music with African folk traditions. The Cape Town-based musician first came to prominence in 2001 with the ensemble Sagtevlei, a collaboration with jazz accordionist and trumpeter Alex van Heerden and a string quartet. The group's spare deconstructions of South African music became known stylistically as "New Cape," a vision Gripper continued to follow on his first solo guitar release a year later.
Over the following decade Gripper continued to push the boundaries of classical guitar both on his own and with other iterations of Sagtevlei. He released an inspired collaboration with Indian tabla master Udai Mazumdar and had one of his pieces adapted by acclaimed string ensemble the Kronos Quartet. Gripper's 2012 LP One Night on Earth launched a new phase of his career as he adapted the complex music of the kora (a 21-string African harp) for solo classical guitar. In 2015, he released a second collection of kora adaptations called Libraries on Fire.
The Dance Hall (View)
7 Walker St
Kittery, ME 03904
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