The 20th New Directions Cello Festival

will take place June 13 - 15, 2014

Ithaca College, Ithaca NY 

Guest artists: Hank Roberts and guitarist Bill Frisell, Mike Block and percussionist Sandeep Das, Stephan Braun (Germany), Pierre Michaud (Quebec/Belgium), Cello en Vogue (Germany) and Aupaquartet (Spain). 

10% discount for members of the New Directions Cello Association.    Join now or renew your membership. 

Registration packages for the 2014 Festival can now be purchased online.  

This year’s special guest artists are:

Hank Roberts (NY) & guitarist Bill Frisell (CA)

Bill Frisell and Hank Roberts

A special first-time duo performance for Hank Roberts and Bill Frisell , who have been friends and musical collaborators for 39 years. They have performed together in a host of different ensembles. Frisell is revered among musicians and music lovers, and has been described as being at the very epicenter of modern American Music. Roberts is recognized as an important contributor to modern cello playing and improvisational music. 

Mike Block with percussionist Sandeep Das (MA)

Mike Block and Sandeep Das

First brought together by Yo-Yo Ma in his Silk Road Ensemble, Sandeep Das and Mike Block are two virtuosic musicians adept at bringing contemporary approaches to traditional music styles.  They performed at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Silk Road Ensemble, and received a rave review by the New York Times.  Visit Mike's website, Mike Block Cello.

Stephan Braun (Germany)

Stephan Braun

Stephan studied classical cello and jazz cello at the universities in Hamburg and Berlin. He has performed in different projects with Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Berliner Ensemble, NDR-Bigband and he has worked as a sideman with Melody Gardot, Nils Landgren, Gil Goldstein, Chris Hinze, Don Thomson, Till Broenner, Giora Feidman, Kristjan Randalu among others. In 2010 he won the 1st price of the International Jazz Competition in Bucharest with his trio. He has played at many famous festivals and concert halls, like Vienna Opera House, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Paris Olympia Theatre, Pori Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival and recorded as a sideman on more than 20 CD’s. As a leader he has made 2 of his own records, one with his trio (called The Raid, released 2008) and one with his singer songwriter project deep strings (called Façon, released 2012). Stephan Braun answers the question once and for all of what the true domain of the cello in jazz is: groove. He currently resides in Berlin.  Visit 'Stephan Braun: Jazz Cello'.

 Pierre Michaud (Quebec / Belgium)

Pierre Michaud

For Pierre Michaud, creating a new cello piece always feels like a dream come true. From his roots in Québec to his current home in Belgium, through over 40 years of playing and composing, Pierre has crafted an exciting personal repertoire, featuring many technical innovations while cherishing a deep warm acoustic sound, as shown on several self-produced CD's & DVD's. "Well chosen notes have a tremendous power of expression by themselves ; what you can convey through committed and sincere interpretation only adds to the magic", he says. With performances from Europe to the Americas via the Middle East and Africa, Michaud offers a unique blend of many influences.

Visit 'Dissidencello', Pierre's YouTube page.



Aupaquartet is an improvising string quartet from Barcelona which spends most of its time assimilating styles such as jazz, funk and son. They combine diverse cultural roots in a constant dialogue between Europe and the Americas. Aupaquartet is a blend of exquisite taste, charisma, happiness, intensity and warmth using rhythm as a vital ingredient while they straddle the roles of creators and interpreters.

Cello en Vogue (Germany)

Cello en Vogue

Cello en Vogue are three women cellists (Corinna Eikmeier, Marei Seuthe and Krischa Weber) who compose and improvise and work with actors, using live-electronics, steel-cello, saw, glasses, field-recordings in their collective compositions and improvisations, theatre and soundscapes. Joining them for a special performance will be Boston based violist and composer Forrest Larson and cellist and NDCF co-director Sera Smolen.   Visit their Facebook page.

The New Directions Cello Festival is a performance and educational forum for non-classical cello, featuring performances, workshops, and jam sessions led by guest artists (and their groups) who are pioneering new directions for cellists in a wide variety of styles. Keep an eye on this website for the latest information. Also join our Facebook group  www.facebook.com/groups/136856902991541/

You can find out more about individual past festivals (since 2000) by clicking below.

2000 - 2002 | 2003 - 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 20082009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

New Directions Cello Festivals History and Mission

History and Mission

Hard Travellin' Cello Case

Since 1995, the New Directions Cello Festival has provided a forum for the exchange of music and ideas in the field of nonclassical and alternative cello.

We strive to embrace all styles of music not commonly taught at music schools, especially those that incorporate improvisation.

Claude Lamothe 2009 at NDCF
Claude Lamothe Concert 2009

Since our first festival in New York City's Knitting Factory (1995), our annual festival has presented a veritable who's who of nonclassical cello in New York City, Boston, Connecticut, Wisconsin, California and now in Ithaca New York. Some of the cellists who have graced our stages include; David Darling, Eugene Friesen, David Baker, Mark Summer, Jami Sieber, Vincent Courtois, Stephen Katz, Ernst Reijseger, David Eyges, Akua Dixon, Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson, Rufus Cappodocia, Jane Scarpantoni, Chris White, Erik Friedlander, Dawn Avery and Robert Een.

Learn more about how our history by reading Chris White's article, Looking Back.

Erik Friedlander
Erik Friedlander

Twentieth Annual New Directions Cello Festival membership

If you want to save 10% on your New Directions Cello Festival registration (and other purchases) you need to purchase a membership (and check out) first. You will then be emailed a discount code. 

When you become a member you support our cause and save 10% off your festival registration and all your New Directions Cello books,CD's,and sheet music purchases (online, by phone and at the festival).