Mike Block String Camp  
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2015 MBSC Faculty (check back here for more faculty to be confirmed soon…)
  Mike Block – 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 Boston. 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 orchestra. Mike is Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

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.
Hanneke Cassel – "Exuberant and rhythmic, somehow both wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness," says The Boston Globe about Hanneke Cassels playing. Such charismatic fiddling has brought Hanneke Cassel many honors and awards. She is the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, she holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music, and she has performed and taught across the U.S., Scotland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Italy, China, and Austria.

Native of Port Orford, Oregon, Hanneke started playing classical violin when she was 8-years old. She met Portland-based fiddler Carol Ann Wheeler when she was 10 at an Texas-style fiddle contest. She soon quit classical, started taking fiddle lessons with Carol Ann, and began competing in contests throughout the Northwest. In 1991, Hanneke entered the Columbia-Pacific Scottish Fiddle Contest in Portland. She won the Jr. contest and went on a year later to capture the U.S. National Scottish Jr. Championship in New Hampshire. With this honor came a scholarship to study on the Isle of Skye, Scotland with the renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Cape Breton master Buddy MacMaster.
Natalie Haas – Vibrant young cellist Natalie Haas is a seasoned performer, artist, and teacher. She plays regularly with master Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser throughout Europe and North America. Their first duo release, Fire & Grace, was awarded the Best Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004. A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York and a California native, Natalie has also toured extensively with fiddling legends Mark O'Connor, Natalie MacMaster and Hanneke Cassel. Natalie has appeared on over 50 albums, and teaches periodically at fiddle camps and workshops around the globe.
Jeremy Kittel – Jeremy Kittel has earned a reputation as one of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation. With a rare mastery of styles as diverse as jazz, Scottish and Irish fiddle, bluegrass, and classical music, Kittel inspires listeners and fans worldwide with his Jeremy Kittel Band (quartet). He is also frequently called upon by some of today's most influential artists, including Bela Fleck, My Morning Jacket, Mark O'Connor, Abigail Washburn, Paquito D'Rivera, and he recently completed a five-year full time position in the Grammy-winning Turtle Island String Quartet. His most recent solo recording, Chasing Sparks (Compass), features original compositions with a stellar cast of musicians including Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Mike Marshall, and has garnered rave reviews among acoustic music circles worldwide.
Lauren Rioux – is a proud Maine-iac, born in Portland and raised in East Machias, and graduating from University of Southern Maine with degrees in Violin Performance and Music Education on full-scholarship. She has toured the US of A and parts of Europe and the UK with string luminary Darol Anger and his Republic of Strings, as a duo with fiddle prodigy Brittany Haas, and as a trio with Scott Nygaard and Portland's own Joe Walsh in Crow Molly. Lauren is enthusiastically sought out for her teaching expertise and leads classes and workshops across the country. She maintains a very active private studio at her home in Scarborough, through which she teaches a delightfully rowdy group of over thirty violinists, violists, and fiddlers ranging in age from 5 to 70.
Kai Welch (Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Trumpet) – Pure rocker, pure folkie, pure punk, pure street. I am not a pure anything. I'm an American and that doesn't mean anything either. But it is in Nashville that I found my indispensable musical comrades – people who inspire me and with whom I get to collaborate, like Abigail Washburn, Brittany Haas, Bela Fleck, and so many more. It's a music party all of the time, and as much as I long for the days of high-seas and high-mountain adventuring, I love being in a place where everyone speaks the language. It's our headquarters, and from here we launch global missions of goodwill and music-making. For the past two years, Kai has toured a collaborative record he created with Abigail Washburn called "City of Refuge". He has recently released his debut solo record, entitled "Send It Down".
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