Turtle Island Quartet

Tag: Turtle Island Quartet

Turtle Island Quartet Homage to Jimi Hendrix Opens 2011-12 Artist Series Oct. 14

The classical/jazz fusion trendsetting Turtle Island Quartet celebrates the music of Jimi Hendrix Friday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The quartet opens Lawrence University’s 2011-12 Artist Series with their dynamic “Have You Ever Been…?” program.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton or by calling 920-832-6749.

Turtle Island Quartet: David Balakrishnan (violin), Jeremy Kittel, (viola), Mark Summer (cello) and Mads Tolling (violin)

Through their exploration of jazz, classical and world music styles, the Turtle Island Quartet has taken audiences on journeys through many musical genres, eras and places, including the American landscape, Latin America, Europe and India.

The two-time Grammy Award-winning quartet latest trip ventures into Electric Ladyland, tackling works by legendary guitarist, songwriter and performer Jimi Hendrix. “Have You Ever Been…?” also explores compositions reflective of, and inspired by, Hendrix’s music, including TIQ founder David Balakrishnan’s new composition “Tree of Life.”

“These are not simple transcriptions of rock tunes for string quartet,” said Mark Urness, associate professor of music who teaches string bass at Lawrence.  “Turtle Island re-imagines the music of Jimi Hendrix: adding to the excitement and energy of the original the beautiful acoustic sonorities and precise ensemble performance of great string chamber music. The result is so natural on string instruments, you wonder if it was the sound of a violin that Hendrix was after with his sustaining overdrive and whammy-bar glissandos.”

Released in 2010, “Have You Ever Been …?” was the brainchild of violinist Balakrishnan, who credits the inspiration for the disc to a pair of Hendrix concerts he attended as a teenager at the Los Angeles Forum in 1969 and ’70. Shortly thereafter, he began playing Hendrix tunes on his violin.

At his creative peak in the late 1960s, Hendrix redefined the potential of the guitar as well as the entire rock genre, creating a blueprint that still is challenging guitarists in particular and musicians of all stripes more than four decades later.

Led by Balakrishnan, TIQ, which includes co-founder cellist Mark Summer, violinist Mads Tolling and newcomer violist Jeremy Kittel, has taken Hendrix’s cue in the course of its 25-year history by reexamining and reconstructing conventional genres of music and seeking new permutations of style, technique and composition. That mission was exemplified in its Grammy-winning 2007 recording “A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane,” in which the quartet reinterpreted the music of one of jazz’s most pivotal figures by injecting it with their own signature rhythmic innovations and multicultural influences.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.

Lawrence University Unveils “Stunning” 2011-2012 Performing Artist and Jazz Series Lineup

Eleven time Grammy® winning jazz pianist and composer Lyle Mays returns to Wisconsin in November in one of eight thrilling Lawrence University Performing Artist and Jazz Series concerts lined up for the 2011-2012 season.

Recognized around the world as a master of the keyboard, Mays has toured with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd, performed with jazz and pop icons Ricky Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell and Bobby McFerrin, and established a 35-year musical collaboration as an integral member of the Pat Metheny Group.

Lyle Mays

A native of Wausaukee, Mays takes the Lawrence Memorial Chapel stage Nov. 5, 2011, with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Trio, the Lawrence Studio Orchestra and the Lawrence Jazz Ensemble as part of Jazz Celebration Weekend.

“We’ve put together a stunning lineup of musical performances with something for everyone,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “If you’ve never been to Lawrence for a concert, the performers in this series will blow you away.”

The series kicks off Oct. 14, with the Turtle Island Quartet, winners of the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, “A Love Supreme.” Turtle Island fuses a classical string quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles, redefining the state of the art. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma called Turtle Island “a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”

On Oct. 24, renowned pianist Richard Goode brings his tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness to the Lawrence campus. Goode’s music making has inspired critics around the world to utter such praise as “you’d swear the composer himself was at the keyboard, expressing musical thoughts that had just come into his head.”

Joining Mays for Jazz Celebration Weekend Nov. 4-5 is the Tierney Sutton Band, which celebrated its third consecutive Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album for 2009’s “Desire.” The album was described as a “conceptual masterpiece” by the Chicago Sun Times and critics call the Tierney Sutton Band’s music enduring, conveying “a sense of spiritual meditation… and a pure jazz spirit.”

The artist and jazz series continues Feb. 17, 2012 with the Jeremy Pelt Quintet. One of the most talked about jazz trumpeters of the past decade, Pelt and his band mates “swing hard, and they swagger in their arrangements,” said reviewer Jeff Krow. “Pelt is at the peak of his powers with the power and range of Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard in their seminal years.”

So Percussion creates music not easy to define, exploring all the extremes of emotion and musical possibility. The quartet, performing March 10, 2012 at Lawrence, has been called an “experimental powerhouse” by the Village Voice, “astonishing and entrancing” by Billboard Magazine and “brilliant” by the New York Times. Edgy (at least in the sense that little other music sounds like this) and ancient (in that people have been hitting objects for eons), they are among today’s most exciting composers and their own original music has quickly helped them forge a unique and diverse career.


Hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus,” by The New Yorker magazine, Chanticleer performs at Lawrence Memorial Chapel April 13, 2012. Chanticleer is known as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to new music.

The Performing Artist and Jazz Series closes May 11, 2012, with a performance by the extraordinary Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Perez.  His distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz has attracted critical acclaim and his abundant talents and enthusiasm make his concerts memorable and inspiring. Perez will perform with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Trio.

Subscriptions for the series are on sale now and subscribers may choose from the artist, jazz, or “favorite 4” concert packages, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 15, 2011. Contact the Lawrence University Box Office at 920-832-6749 or visit http://www.lawrence.edu/news/performingartsseries for more information.