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Sounds Like: Kronos Quartet, Quartet San Francisco, Carpe Diem Officiel, Yo-Yo Ma, Bela Fleck
Manager: Baylin Artists Management
Bio: Two-time Grammy Award Winners, Turtle Island Quartet, break the boundaries of classical and jazz in a fresh, new approach.More Info
RAC Presents The Turtle Island Quartet, "Birth of the Cool" In its RAC debut, Turtle Island Quartet presents Birth of the Coolcelebrating what became known as "Cool Jazz," marked by the embodiment of cool, Miles Davis, along with his colleagues Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan, as well as the Modern Jazz Quartet and Dave Brubeck. In addition to their masterful jazz string quartet interpretations from the Birth of the Cool recording, Turtle Island offers a program of perennial favorites such as Dave Brubeck's Blue Rondo A La Turk, Gerry Mulligan's Bernie's Tune, Miles Davis's dreamy Miles Ahead, and the Modern Jazz Quartet's darker Django. Since its inception in 1985, the Turtle Island Quartet has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Winner of the 2006 and 2008 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, Turtle Island fuses the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles, and by devising a performance practice that honors both, the state of the art has inevitably been redefined. "A STERLING EXAMPLE OF FIRST-RATE JAZZ MUSIC-MAKING" Los Angeles Times PROGRAM: (TBA from stage-see above) David Balakrishnan, violin Mark Summer, violin Mateusz Smoczynski, viola Benjamin von Gutzeit, cello The Quartet's birth was the result of violinist David Balakrishnan's brainstorming explorations and compositional vision while writing his master's thesis at Antioch University West. The journey has taken Turtle Island through forays into folk, bluegrass, swing, be-bop, funk, R&B, new age, rock, hip-hop, as well as music of Latin America and India a repertoire consisting of hundreds of ingenious arrangements and originals. It has included over a dozen recordings on labels such as Windham Hill, Chandos, Koch and Telarc, soundtracks for major motion pictures, TV and radio credits such as the Today Show, All Things Considered, Prairie Home Companion, and Morning Edition, feature articles in People and Newsweek magazines, and collaborations with famed artists such as clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, guitar legends Leo Kottke and the Assad brothers, The Manhattan Transfer, pianists Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut and Ramsey Lewis, singers Tierney Sutton and Nellie McKay, the Ying Quartet and the Parsons and Luna Negra Dance Companies. Another unique element of Turtle Island is their revival of venerable improvisational and compositional chamber traditions that have not been explored by string players for nearly 200 years. At the time of Haydn's apocryphal creation of the string quartet form, musicians were more akin to today's saxophonists and keyboard masters of the jazz and pop world, i.e., improvisers, composers, and arrangers. Each Turtle Island member is accomplished in these areas of expertise as well as having extensive conservatory training. Original members Balakrishnan and Mark Summer, arguably the finest cross genre cellist of the modern age, are joined by the elite of the young alternative string players from Europe, Polish jazz violin phenom Mateusz Smoczynski, and violist Benjamin Von Gutzeit, of German descent, who recently completed a masters program in jazz studies at Manhattan School of Music. Cellist nonpareil Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed TIQ to be "a unified voice that truly breaks new ground authentic and passionate a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today."
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