BLKBOK at The Block

Muskegon, Michigan, February 19, 2024—BLKBOK’s high-energy style seeks to entertain with a live piano based performance that is culturally reflective and encourages dialogue. BLKBOK’s website describes him as equal parts “artist/pianist/composer/lover of humans.” His stage name is a nod to the legendary J.S. Bach and an embodiment of the diverse influences that have shaped his artistic identity: from classical to hip-hop. The New York Times described his style as “Bach in his left hand, Debussy in his right.” BLKBOK will make his debut at The Block at 7:30pm Friday, March 8th.  For tickets, starting at $10 for students and $33 for adults, call 231.726.3231, visit or in person at 360 W. Western Avenue, Muskegon.

Born and raised in inner-city Detroit, the artist born as Charles Wilson III grew up in a music-filled home. By the time he was eight, BLKBOK was an acclaimed piano prodigy, winning statewide accolades and college-level competitions. When it came to music, most of his peers pursued hip-hop, adopting rap names. However, Charles chose the name BLKBOK as an homage to one of the greatest composers of all time. The tag also reflects the elements that have contributed to his identity. It encapsulates his journey from hip-hop culture to his acclaimed neo-classical debut album Black Book.

He has toured with Justin Timberlake, the Backstreet Boys, Rihanna, John Mayer and Demi Lovato, among others. But after a stint with “Immortal,” Cirque du Soleil’s homage to Michael Jackson, he had an epiphany. “I’d been listening to Michael Jackson in my head every day. Who’s next?” he recalls. “And the only answer I could get was me. So I started on that path.”

According to The New York Times, his music is “classical in articulation, embellishments and style, but not classical in obligation. His music points directly to great composers… but characterizes differently the look and feel of the institutions that contain them.”

“I want more people to understand that classical music is for everyone,” he told Steve Roper on The Today Show. “It’s not just for one group of people.” BLKBOK will not only share his vision with audiences at The Block, but with students at Muskegon High School when he visits them on Friday morning. He will play for them and talk about how music opens doors and provides hope.

The Block is West Michigan Symphony’s 115-seat listening room for the musically curious, located on the second floor of the Russell Block Building in downtown Muskegon. Performers include regional, national and international artists as well as WMS musicians. Now in its 10th season, The Block continues to grow and innovate artistically and as a community center for youth music ensembles and a variety of meetings and events. ###

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts