K-12 In-School Performances

Turtle Island Quartet

“A STERLING EXAMPLE OF FIRST-RATE JAZZ MUSIC-MAKING”
Los Angeles Times
“THE STRINGS SING, NOT LIKE ANGELS, BUT LIKE THEY'VE BEEN AROUND. THE IMPROVISATIONS HANG TOUGH, SOLIDLY BUILT AND TAKE NO BACK TALK FROM ANYBODY.”
The Seattle Post-Intelligence
“EXCELLENT PRECISION AND MUSICALITY”
The Washington Post
“PLAYS WITH ENERGY AND INVENTIVENESS”
The New York Times

Watch

Turtle Island Quartet - Strings Session
Turtle Island Quartet w/ Cyrus Chestnut - Ruby My Dear
Turtle Island Quartet - Subconscious-Lee

Listen

Turtle Island Quartet
Confetti Mind (Balakrishnan) Confetti Mind (Balakrishnan)
Windspan (Mintzer) Windspan (Mintzer)
Bouncin' with Bud (Powell) Bouncin' with Bud (Powell)
Have You Ever Been (Hendrix) Have You Ever Been (Hendrix)
1983...A Merman I Should Turn to Be (Hendrix) 1983...A Merman I Should Turn to Be (Hendrix)
La Danse du Bonheur (McLaughlin/Shankar) La Danse du Bonheur (McLaughlin/Shankar)
So What (Davis) So What (Davis)
Turtle Island Quartet with Liz Carroll
Lake Effect Lake Effect
Turtle Island Quartet with Cyrus Chestnut
Jungle Blues (Morton) Jungle Blues (Morton)
Rhythm-A-Ning (Monk) Rhythm-A-Ning (Monk)
Turtle Twist (Morton) Turtle Twist (Morton)

Turtle Island Quartet


Its name derived from creation mythology found in Native American Folklore, the Turtle Island Quartet, since its inception in 1985, has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Winner of the 2006 and 2008 GRAMMY® Awards for Best Classical Crossover category, 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. 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.”

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.

As Turtle Island members continue to refine their skills through the development of repertory by some of today’s cutting edge composers, through performances and recordings with major symphonic ensembles, and through a determined educational commitment, the Turtle Island Quartet stakes its claim as the quintessential ‘New World’ string quartet of the 21st century.

For more information on the Turtle Island Quartet, please visit www.turtleislandquartet.com

You can also ‘friend’ the group on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @TurtleQuartet