Jun 28, 2010 Uncategorized
The Lucas Theatre for the Arts located on 32 Abercorn Street will be giving the stage up to The Turtle Island Quartet with Cyrus Chestnut and Mike Marshall on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Started in 1985, and named for Native American creation mythology, The Turtle Island Quartet has been pushing the boundaries of chamber music for strings. They combine classic quartet aesthetic with contemporary American music styles. Most recent accolades include 2006 and 2008 Grammy Awards for Best Classic Crossover album. This rare concert will also feature Americana legends Cyrus Chestnut on piano and Mike Marshall on mandolin.
Turtle Island Quartet continues their grail-like quest in a program that matches a reinterpretation of Brahms celebrated piano quintet with a gospel-tinged fantasy of Down by the Riverside. The giants of jazz such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Louis Armstrong are given their just due and bluegrass legends like Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs are brought to the table for this musical feast and you can be part of it all when you call 912-525-5050 to get your tickets!
Jun 24, 2010 Uncategorized
Maverick strings: Turtle Island Quartet to interpret Hendrix, Coltrane in Tarpon Springs
By John Fleming, Times Performing Arts Critic
In Print: Thursday, June 24, 2010
The Turtle Island Quartet, from left: Mads Tolling on violin, David Balakrishnan, also violin, Mark Summer on cello and Jeremy Kittel on viola.
BY JOHN FLEMING
Times Performing Arts Critic
Mark Summer is looking forward to having some Greek food this weekend in Tarpon Springs. “I spent my honeymoon in Athens, and I love Greek food,” said Summer, cellist in the Turtle Island Quartet, which plays Saturday night at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.
Summer and his colleagues — David Balakrishnan, violin; Mads Tolling, violin; and Jeremy Kittel, viola — are also looking forward to playing selections from their forthcoming album, Have You Ever Been …?, which includes their adaptations of Jimi Hendrix songs for amplified string quartet.
“We’ve chosen music that really shows Jimi Hendrix as a composer,” Summer said last week from his home in Marin County, Calif. “You know, people think of him as a guitar god, and David’s whole take (in the violinist’s arrangements) is to show how Hendrix was thinking compositionally. Our aim is to make this sound elegant yet ferocious.”
In Tarpon, the quartet plans to play Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) and House Burning Down from the album, which will be released in August. Hendrix fans are among rock’s most discerning. What will they get out of hearing a string quartet play their hero’s music?
“I think when you take something that someone did and put it in a new context, and you do it well, you’re going to illuminate the original,” said Summer. “Jimi Hendrix’s music was often one guitar with overdubs and bass and drums. To hear a string quartet bring it off, it’s kind of a marvel. Like, how do you do rock ‘n’ roll without drums? It’s kind of ridiculous that we even try it, but because of techniques that we can do, and because we all groove well together, it really comes off.”
Turtle Island is not the first string quartet to take on Hendrix. The Kronos Quartet made a splash 25 years ago with its version of Purple Haze.
“We didn’t think about it that much, because so much time has passed and we knew we were going to treat it differently,” Summer said. “We weren’t worried about Kronos. We love Kronos. We knew we were going to do it in a whole other way.”
Turtle Island has done this sort of thing before with much success. The quartet’s last release, A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane — its interpretations of the great jazz saxophonist’s music — won the 2008 Grammy Award for best classical crossover album. The group will also play selections from that album this weekend.
Summer and Balakrishnan are original members of Turtle Island, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this fall. The quartet’s 4 + Four (with the Ying Quartet) won the 2006 Grammy for best classical crossover album.
Summer, 52, started out as a classical cellist (“I tell people I’m in recovery from classical music”) who played in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for three years. He thinks that background has served him well in his partnership with Balakrishnan, a kind of mad genius of the violin.
“We’re a great team because I’m into showcasing the cello and showing you can play any kind of music on string instruments, and David’s into showing that you can integrate the compositional elements of classical music and Indian music — his father is from south India — and bluegrass and jazz and rock ‘n’ roll.”
John Fleming can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8716 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (727) 893-8716 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
If you go: Turtle Island Quartet
The group plays at 8 p.m. Saturday at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St. $18, $20. The quartet will host a workshop for musicians at 2 p.m. Saturday. $10. (727) 942-5605
Jun 24, 2010 Uncategorized
TARPON SPRINGS – The Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center presents 2008 Grammy Award winning Turtle Island String Quartet on June 26.
The group celebrates the music of jazz legend John Coltrane at 8 p.m. and will conduct a music workshop on the Performing Arts Center stage at 2 p.m. for all interested musicians and music lovers.
Since its inception in 1985, the Turtle Island String 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.
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.”
A Love Supreme concert program presents an in-depth look at John Coltrane’s landmark recording in the greater context of the music that preceded and followed, a time many consider to be the last great evolutionary period of jazz.
A Love Supreme: Turtle Island Plays The Music Of John Coltrane John Coltrane’s jazz epiphany, “A Love Supreme,” recorded four decades ago at a time when the country was deeply troubled by issues of race and war, was a personal statement of redemption and salvation that struck a chord in the hearts of millions, becoming one of the most enduring jazz recordings of all time.
In exploring John Coltrane’s musical legacy, the Turtle Island Quartet continues its tradition of employing the string quartet to shed new light on the timeless joy and beauty contained in the greatest music of the American jazz masters. The concert program presents an in-depth look at this landmark recording in the greater context of the music that preceded and followed, a time many consider to be the last great evolutionary period of jazz.
Turtle Island Quartet is David Balakrishnan, violin; Mark Summer, cello; Mads Tolling, violin; and Jeremy Kittel, viola.
Tickets are $20 and $18, plus $1 tax and handling fee.
Workshop participants will join the group on stage at the Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. for The Art of the Groove. An exploration of rhythm in classical and popular forms through lecture and demonstration. The focus in this program is on the fundamental rhythmic differences between European classical and American vernacular forms, using the rich historical connection to the traditional string quartet as the point of departure for a cross-cultural musical journey that begins with Beethoven and ends with Turtle Island.
Turtle Island identifies the “back-beat” as the key, unveiling it in its various stylistic guises with the help of the audience, and then the quartet embarks on a simple and methodical layering of the basic building blocks employed in creating a jazz string combo, one instrument at a time.
Turtle Island discusses the various techniques that allow it all to happen, including innovative percussive techniques, emulation of other instruments (saxophone, guitar, trumpet, bass, etc.), neo-classical phrasing, composition and arranging, and basics of improvisation. One of the highlights is an exploration of the American fiddle tradition, utilizing the second theme of Dvorak’s American Quartet.
Also touched upon are odd meters in jazz ala Dave Brubeck, Hip-Hop/60s rock ala Jimi Hendrix, R&B ala Tower Of Power and clave rhythms of Latin American music. There is even a little fun with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Throughout all, the back-beat rules.
Cost of the workshop is $10.
For tickets to the 8 p.m. performance or the workshop, call 727-942-5605 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 727-942-5605 end_of_the_skype_highlighting tarponarts.org.