Hanneke Cassel & Mike Block Duo
Hanneke Cassel (fiddle) and Mike Block (cello/voice) have been playing music together since 2007. Together, these dynamic performers present a diverse and exciting show featuring traditional and original music drawing from their Celtic, Americana, and Classical backgrounds.
Effervescent and engaging, Boston-based fiddler Hanneke Cassel is a performer, teacher and composer whose career spans over two decades. Her style fuses influences from the Isle of Skye and Cape Breton Island with Americana grooves and musical innovations, creating a cutting-edge acoustic sound that retains the integrity and spirit of the Scottish tradition. Hanneke’s music is a blend of the contemporary and traditional, described by the Boston Globe as “exuberant and rhythmic, somehow wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness.” She has performed across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
A native of Port Orford, Oregon, Hanneke started out as a Texas-style fiddler and went on to win the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, which awarded her the opportunity to study with Alasdair Fraser and introduced her to fiddle camps and the folk community -- both of which continue to play an integral role in her life. Hanneke teaches regularly at Fraser’s Valley of the Moon and Sierra Fiddle Camps, the Mike Block String Camp (run by her husband, acclaimed cellist Mike Block), Harald Haugaard’s International Fiddle School, and the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School. She has served as a guest instructor in the American Roots department at Berklee College of Music, where she received her Bachelor’s of Music in Violin Performance.
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. 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."
He has collaborated with a variety of diverse musicians and groups, such as Mark O’Connor, Bobby McFerrin, The New York Philharmonic, Will.i.am, Edgar Meyer, Stevie Wonder, Darol Anger, Allison Krauss, Mike Marshall, Zakir Hussain, The National, Bon Iver, My Brightest Diamond, The Illinois Symphony, Rachel Barton Pine, Marcel Khaliffe, Goran Bregovic, Simone Dinnerstein, Dawn Upshaw, Anthony McGill, Tony Trishcka, Lenny Kravitz, Shakira, Joe Zawinul, Alasdair Fraser, Shujaat Khan, and many others.