ERIK FRIEDLANDER (cello) is a composer and an improviser, a first-call studio player and a jazzbo. A veteran of New York City’s downtown scene, his twelve CDs as a leader include, most recently, Block Ice & Propane, his solo cello reinterpretation of American roots music; The Broken Arm Trio, a trio tribute to jazz bassist Oscar Pettiford; and Volac, a romantic collection of virtuoso solo cello pieces by John Zorn. Friedlander has performed on hundreds of recordings and soundtracks, including work with Laurie Anderson, The Mountain Goats, Ennio Morricone and Courtney Love. He started studying music beginning at age five with folk guitar and then, at age eight, cello lessons. Friedlander grew up in a house filled with music as his father, an avid music lover, made countless mix tapes. His desire to actively participate in the swirl of music styles he grew accustomed to hearing led him to find new ways to play the cello. Friedlander’s compositions and his improvising style attempt to blend the traditions of classical and popular music styles with an always-evolving vision of what a cellist can be pushed to accomplish. He maintains a website that includes video lessons and exercises, free podcasts, and travel and amplification advice. He will be releasing 50 Miniatures for Improvising Quintet later this year, and Alchemy, an LP of solo works, was just released in Germany. He will also be touring in the U.S. and Europe, including concerts at La Coruna and Ferrol, Spain, with the Masada String Trio; an appearance at the Montreal Jazz Festival; and solo concerts at the re:Flux Festival in New Brunswick and the Kilkenny Arts Festival in Ireland.