Yamaha Adds Szekely, Block, and Sabatino to Artist Family

Mike Lawson • News • October 12, 2017

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Yamaha Artist Services has announced that cellists Jacob Szekely and Mike Block, as well as bassist Charley Sabatino have been welcomed to the Yamaha Artist family. All three musicians currently use Yamaha electric string instruments.

Both Szekely and Block play the Yamaha SVC-210sk Silent Cello, while Sabatino performs on the SLB-200LTD Limited Edition Silent Bass.

“It’s the closest thing to an upright bass in sound and feel, it’s just wonderful,” said Sabatino of the SLB-200LTD.

“It feels like an acoustic instrument, which is really the exciting thing. Even when a cellist is playing electric music, we’re still often evoking the acoustic sound of a cello,” Block said of the SVC-210sk.

“Yamaha has done its homework,” Szekely added. “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. No company in the world supports their artists like Yamaha. I don’t think that’s controversial or debatable.”

All three musicians are involved with music education; Szekely runs String Project Los Angeles, a school dedicated to creative string playing, Block is a professor at Berklee College of Music and runs The Mike Block String Camp, and Sabatino has been teaching bass for over 30 years. Because of this, all three artists can recognize and appreciate the dedication to music education that Yamaha has shown.

“Yamaha is actively involved on the ground level of promoting music education in its many forms,” Block said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with them.”

“It would be hard for me to understate their commitment to music education,” Szekely added. “I have a unique perspective, because I’m not only an artist and a teacher, but I’m also a school owner. Yamaha is unlike any other company on earth.”

Looking forward, Szekely will be promoting and playing at the 6th annual L.A. Creative String Festival and recording a new album with his trio. Block will be recording a new solo album that’s due out in 2018, and Sabatino will be appearing at the Uncool Festival in Switzerland and the Stockholm Jazz Festival with his free-improvised jazz group, The Velocity Duo.

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