Jacob Szekely, Mike Block and Charley Sabatino Are Named Yamaha Artists

October 23, 2017, 12:06 PM · Yamaha has announced that cellists Jacob Szekely and Mike Block and bassist Charley Sabatino will join their roster of Yamaha Artists this fall.

Jacob Szekely, Mike Block, Charley Sabatino
LR: Cellists Jacob Szekely and Mike Block; and bassist Charley Sabatino.

Yamaha has around 40 string players on its roster of more than 3,500 Yamaha Artists, who showcase Yamaha instruments, assist with product design, test new products and are given a promise of service and support from Yamaha. Artists are not paid by Yamaha to play their instruments but are permitted to use the title "Yamaha Performing Artist" in their promotions.

Szekely, a native of Brooklyn, lives in Los Angeles and runs String Project Los Angeles, a school dedicated to creative string playing. He also is the founder of the The Improvisor’s Guide to the Cello, a video learning series designed to address the unique challenges classically trained cellists face when approaching creative string playing. He plays a Yamaha SVC-210sk Silent Cello, which he said he endorses because "they’ve created an instrument that a classically-trained musician — which is what 98 percent of string players are — can sit down and just feel comfortable with, instantly."

Block, who plays the same kind of Yamaha cello, is a Boston-based Juilliard graduate and a longtime member of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Block also is a professor at Berklee College of Music and runs the Mike Block String Camp.

Sabatino performs on the SLB-200LTD Limited Edition Silent Bass, which he calls "the closest thing to an upright bass in sound and feel." Based in New York City, Sabatino has been teacher for more than 30 years, is Music Director of the Jazz Workshop at the Cadenza Music School and is a co-leader of the free-improv group, The Velocity Duo.

Congratulations to all three of these musicians! For information about becoming a Yamaha Artist, visit this page.

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