One evening in November 1985 four young and adventurous string players sat down together at a friend’s home for a nice meal and some string quartet music. One would normally expect the standard fare of Mozart, Beethoven, and maybe some Mendelssohn, but these early intrepid explorers of the alternative string music world had entirely something else in mind.
Starting off with Oliver Nelson’s classic jazz ballad “Stolen Moments,” proceeding into Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night In Tunisia,” and culminating in violinist/composer David Balakrishnan’s seminal four movement cross-genre opus, “Balapadam,” they began a journey that would shake the very foundation of the two hundred fifty year old string quartet tradition, and play a central role in the redefining of the stylistic boundaries of American classical chamber music.
Twenty five years later, having accumulated a mountain of well deserved accolades including GRAMMY® awards for their last two recordings, the Turtle Island Quartet has chosen, as collaborators, two acclaimed artists for their distinctive roles in American music today; jazz piano master Cyrus Chestnut* and virtuoso mandolinist Mike Marshall** will celebrate the silver anniversary in grand style. Messrs.
Chestnut and Marshall, having both previously collaborated with Turtle Island individually, bring a dazzling array of possibilities to the quartet’s quarter century of repertoire. Classic jazz, Americana, and new works highlight this extraordinary project.