Multi-instrumentalist, composer and activist Dan Blake has developed a wide-ranging career as a contemporary composer, performer and educator that “regards tradition as a welcoming playground best approached with a sense of wonder and adventure” (The Boston Globe). Blake’s music has been called “stunning” (All About Jazz), and his most recent release “The Digging” was described as “a creative essay on what can be done in the trio format” (Ottawa Citizen). In addition to his work as a leader, he has toured and recorded with three-time Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, NEA Jazz Master Anthony Braxton, and Velvet Underground founding member John Cale, among many others. In his extended multi-disciplinary compositions, Blake weaves together his interests in world music, contemporary improvisation, animation, and performance art. This genre-bending catalog of works has earned him support from the Jerome Fund for New Music, ASCAP, and New Music USA, as well as a 2022 Fellowship from New York State Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Pullitzer Prize-winning composer Tania Leon has said, “Daniel Blake is a talent whose time has come. He is doing great things.”
A musician keenly interested in bringing music together with social justice causes, Blake serves on the board of Buddhist Global Relief (www.buddhistglobalrelief.org), an organization that alleviates poverty, hunger and malnutrition in poor communities around the world. He is also co-coordinator of Art & Culture for the New York State Poor People’s Campaign (www.nysppc.org). He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the City University of New York and is currently on faculty at the New School for Social Research where he teaches courses on the intersection of music and social justice.
I am proud of this artistic statement, and am honored to have been invited to put it together for the venerable organization “Composers Now”!
This is the result of a 2-year project reflecting on the life and writings of Jarvis Jay Masters, renowned Buddhist practitioner and author who has been incarcerated on death row for over 30 years for a crime he did not commit. Featuring Westchester Ballet Company, choreography by Tomiko Magario – performance produced in February 2023 by Creative Arts Alliance.
from an inspiring show I did with the legendary flutist/composer (and one of my most important mentors) Robert Dick at the Zurcher Gallery, NYC
I am thrilled to have been awarded the 2022 New York State Council On the Arts Fellowship in music! Can’t wait to put these award funds to good use this year – look out for new projects on the way!
Read more about this prestigious award here
Looking ahead to the Jan. 22 premier of Got My Wings, here is a new promo featuring the break dancer James Jandrok!
see http://www.bethanyarts.org/got-my-wings for more details and reservations!
I’m thrilled to announce that my new music will now be posted and streamable at Ampled, a cooperative platform designed and owned by and for musicians! For as low as $3/month you’ll get at least 2-3 subscriber-only tracks, videos and other new content I’m working on or that has never before been released. I hope you’ll join me there on this new journey toward reimagining this ailing music industry! Consider it the price of buying me a cup of coffee, which will just ensure I’ve got enough “zip” to keep creating for you all 🙂
Check out Ampled @ampl3d!!
“One of the most relevant and musically rich albums of 2021 in any style of music.” – Alan Young
I’m thrilled to announce my fourth album as a bandleader – now out on Sunnyside Records!
March 26 we will host an album release livestream at the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn, NY!
More info HERE
I’m very happy to be a part of this new release with the legendary flutist and composer Robert Dick.
Artwork by Sabina Hahn, and click the link above to read the notes by renowned journalist Allan Kozinn!
Here is a new article I published in JazzEd, where I discuss teaching forms of activism and social justice in the classroom. I also reflect on my role as a White educator performer of a historically African American cultural expression. Check it out!