Dan Blake

Multi-instrumentalist, contemporary composer, performer and educator

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.