The Hanneke Cassel Band features Mike Block on cello and alternating guitarists Keith Murphy and Christopher Lewis. Fusing influences from the Isle of Skye and Cape Breton with Americana grooves and musical innovations, this group creates a cutting-edge acoustic sound that retains the integrity and spirit of the Scottish tradition.
Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, singer, composer, and educator. Hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the “ideal musician of the 21st-Century”, Mike is part of the Grammy-award winning Silk Road Ensemble, a graduate of the Juilliard School, and an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music.
Newfoundland-born guitarist Keith Murphy began absorbing his native musical languages folksongs, ballads and dance music from an early age. A proficient multi-instrumentalist, he has long applied considerable energy to the rhythmic side of music, becoming a valued band member and highly sought-after sideman on guitar, mandolin and foot percussion.
Canadian native Christopher Lewis provides the driving guitar sound in the band. Also a Berklee College of Music alum, Chris has been involved with album production and performance in the Boston indie rock scene.
Mike Block opens
MIKE BLOCK is a pioneering multi-style cellist, singer, composer, and educator, hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the “ideal musician of the 21st-Century”, and acclaimed by the NY Times for his “vital rich-hued solo playing”. While still studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Mas Silk Road Ensemble, with which he has toured extensively throughout the world, and won a 2017 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. Mike is also an active recording artist of original material, folk music, cross-cultural collaborations, and he has an ongoing project to record all of the Bach cello suites in acoustically glorious bathrooms of famous concert halls, via BachInTheBathroom.com. As one of the first wave of cellists to adopt a strap in order to stand and move while playing, Mike was the first standing cellist to perform at Carnegie Hall, using a cello strap of his own design, called the Block Strap, a performance which the NY Times called “Breathless … Half dance, half dare.”