Bird's Eye View

In this high flying program, the two-time GRAMMY® winning Turtle Island Quartet, pays homage to the incandescent visionary brilliance of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. The genius of his improvisations almost single handedly catapulted jazz from pop style into art music, indelibly altering the musical landscape of America.

Iconic Charlie Parker classics such as Ornithology, KoKo and Dewey Square are juxtaposed with original responses by quartet members, and intertwined with other thematic pieces from the bebop era and beyond such as Sonny Rollins’ Airegin, Bird Calls by Charlie Mingus and Too High by Stevie Wonder. Grammy-nominated composer David Balakrishnan contributes his newly commissioned work, Aeroelasticity: Harmonies Of Impermanence.*

Turtle Island draws its primary focus and musical identity from the individual creative voices of the ensemble who are at home in folk, pop and jazz. It continues to recalibrate the foundational parameters of the traditional string quartet form, in a sense coming from the other direction.

The Art of The Groove

The Art of the Groove defines a Turtle Island concert- full of driving rhythms, explosive harmonies, and staggering improvisation- all with an unbeatable backbeat. An ensemble and performance with enormous range- enough to fill an evening with well known works by the world’s greatest jazz composers while leaving room for a few memorable surprises.

This incredible program features works by composers such as Miles Davis, JS Bach, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Thelonius Monk, Antonio Vivaldi, Herbie Hancock, Bob Dylan, Chick Corea, Egberto Gismonti, Paquito D’Rivera, Vince Mendoza, W.A. Mozart, Michael Brecker and Jimi Hendrix.  It will also feature Turtle Island ‘resident composer’ David Balakrishnan’s music which integrates jazz, western classical, American fiddle styles, rock, rhythm & blues, Latin-American and Indian classical music.

The Turtle Island Quartet strikes a balance between the emotional immediacy associated with jazz and the brilliant conceptualization associated with classical music. In keeping with the jazz tradition, the program will be announced from the stage during the course of the concert. As in the classical tradition, careful consideration is given to the choice of repertoire.  Elements such as genre, length, key, featured soloist and composer, and mood all come into play which results in a monster program celebrating the ensemble’s quarter century of music making.

Snakes & Ladders

Works by Johann Sebastian Bach, David Balakrishnan, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and others

This sinuous concert program takes its name from the popular board game (nowadays commonly known as "Chutes And Ladders") which originated in ancient India that puts one through a chaotic journey of climbing up a ladder and sliding down the back of a snake while attempting to be the first to reach the top rung—a metaphor for the ups and downs of the game of life. Shifting quickly within a cornucopian array of jazz styles and beyond, the music is meant to evoke 'rajas guna,' one of the three categories of states of being in Hindu philosophy, typified by constantly changing passions such as fury, longing, terror, exhilaration, despair and ecstatic bliss.