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2/25 Innovative Cello Techniques with Dan Kassel

In this cello workshop, Kassel will enhance students’ capacities for playing and understanding improvisational music, develop a personalized and meaningful method of practice, and teach the nuances of live-looping. Expanding upon the foundation of Western classical music that so many of us are familiar with, this workshop will help develop these sensibilities while taking them in exploratory directions. Using examples of musical traditions from India, Ireland, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and China, students will learn how to incorporate their favorite aspects of this diverse musical array into their own practice. Exercises will include vibrato techniques, basic scales and how to easily incorporate them into a fun and effective practice regiment, and double stop techniques. In an effort to simulate live-looping, students will also discover fun ways to create melodic components to mesh simultaneously with other students’ parts, in effect creating a cello-chamber ensemble that can be incorporated into the learning process of live-looping. Kassel will demonstrate individually how to achieve the same effect as a roomful of cellos using only his cello and a Boss RC50 Loop Station, and answer any and all questions regarding equipment (pickups, amps, preamps, loopers, effects, etc.).

Dan Kassel is an eclectic cellist who uses a Boss RC-50 looping station to bring his instrument to new heights. He began playing cello at the age of 8 and served as first chair of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County growing up. In high school, he sat first chair of his school orchestra for all 4 years, performed in the New Jersey Regional Orchestra, and developed the Hopewell String Quartet. His drift towards experimentation began as a teen, but quickly became the cornerstone for his nuanced approach to everything from Klezmer to Irish folk, Indian classical to down-tempo electronic music. His ability to use technology to loop and layer his instrument into expansive tapestries of sound is impressive, but the element that really stands out is the cello's deep and moving resonance.

Kassel’s work has been featured in modern dance ensembles, as the backdrop to countless high-end events and on major radio broadcasts. He has performed all over the US and his performance repertoire consists of playing with live yoga classes, meditation and massage sessions, high-end restaurants, fundraisers, weddings, parties, and an array of different sized venues (World Cafe Live and Union Transfer being amongst the most notable). He has received critical praise for his solo work from WXPN and independent blogs and won an Honorable Mention from the International Songwriting Competition for his original piece, “Moonslice."

Hear Dan's music here:

Ages 13 and up. Saturday, February 25th, 2-4pm. $30. 

17 Seminary Avenue Hopewell NJ 08525