Voci Angelica, Mike Block, and Castle of Our Skins Join Celebrity Series’ Neighborhood Arts 2017-18 Roster
Each season, Celebrity Series teams up with talented local artists to bring the joy of live performance to neighborhoods across Boston, and our 2017-18 Season looks to be one of our best seasons yet! As we’re hard at work wrapping up details of what’s to come, we invite you to join us in welcoming three new incredible artists to the program: trio Voci Angelica, cellist Mike Block, and string quartet Castle of Our Skins.
Voci Angelica, featuring two vocalists and a cellist, officially opens our season with its Neighborhood Arts debut on September 30, 4pm, at Mattapan’s Church of the Holy Spirit. The trio will perform its unique blend of world and classical music in a free, family-friendly concert.
Well-versed in jazz, bluegrass, and classical music, cellist Mike Block will be performing world music as a trio with returning Neighborhood Arts artists Sandeep Das (Indian Tabla) and Shaw Pong Liu (Chinese erhu-violin). Together, these three acclaimed musicians will present solo and duo school visits and prepare several bluegrass and jazz arrangements with Bridge Boston and Conservatory Lab Charter Schools for the Dorchester Stringfest this December 9 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.
Castle of Our Skins celebrates Black artistry through music. Performing as a string quartet, the group will be rehearsing several selections by black composers with the Boston City-Wide String Orchestra and City Strings United in preparation for the Roxbury Stringfest on December 3 at Hibernian Hall.
Like all of our Neighborhood Arts events, these performances are free to attend and held in accessible venues. We hope you can join us! And until then, you can learn more about these artists below!
Voci Angelica, world music trio
Voci Angelica Trio is an international band with members hailing from three continents. Straddling the genres of world folk and classical music, the trio creates an ambitious blend of cultures, reinvigorating traditional songs for contemporary audiences. Vocal harmonies elegantly intertwine with lush cello lines and percussion to create a musical fusion that transcends political and geographic borders. Live performances are a celebration of the group’s cultural wayfaring, showcasing the differences and similarities of our shared humanity. Voci Angelica’s mission has also led them to the USA’s East and West Coasts, the Midwest and Southern regions as well as Canada, Japan and South Korea. Learn more at vociangelicatrio.com.
Mike Block, cellist
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 praised by the New York Times for his “vital rich-hued solo playing.” While still studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma’s 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, and cross-cultural collaborations. He was the first standing cellist to perform at Carnegie Hall, using a patented cello strap of his own design, The Block Strap. As a music educator, Mike is passionate about emphasizing creativity and collaboration, leading to the founding of the Mike Block String Camp in 2010. Mike is also the founding Director of the Silkroad Global Musician Workshop and created the online Multi-Style Cello School at ArtistWorks.com. In 2012, Mike was appointed Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music and lives in Boston with his wife, fiddler Hanneke Cassel. Learn more at MikeBlockMusic.com.
Castle of Our Skins, string quartet
Castle of Our Skins (COOS) is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. Based in Boston and driven to bringing greater cultural representation to the stage, COOS takes its inventive mix of Black history, culture and Classical music to concert halls and classrooms alike. Through its interactive educational workshops, international call to composers, musical-narrative concert experiences, and online blog, COOS invites exploration into Black heritage and a curiosity for Black culture. Learn more at CastleSkins.org.