Turtle Island Quartet

on TV,
Film &


This Artist

Know a thing or two about this artist?

Want to help make this page better?

Earn points and win prizes. Find out


This Artist

You are not currently tracking Turtle Island Quartet

this artist


Artist Vitals
Total Clips1
Active Streams1
Missing Streams0
Commercially Available0
Artist RP RankingN/A
1 Concert Matches Worldwide
show all
Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Turtle Island Quartet on Wikipedia
Turtle Island Quartet
Turtle Island Quartet 2016.jpgDavid Balakrishnan, Alex Hargreaves, Malcolm Parson, Benjamin von Gutzeit
Background information
Also known asTurtle Island String Quartet
OriginSan Francisco Bay Area, California, United States
Years active1985 (1985)–present
  • David Balakrishnan
  • Benjamin von Gutzeit
  • Alex Hargreaves
  • Malcolm Parson
Past members
  • Mark Summer
  • Darol Anger
  • Mads Tolling
  • Jeremy Kittel
  • Tracy Silverman
  • Danny Seidenberg
  • Evan Price
  • Irene Sazer
  • Katrina Wreede
  • Laurie Moore
  • Jeremy Cohen
  • Mateusz Smoczynski

The Turtle Island Quartet (known as the "Turtle Island String Quartet" before the 2007 release of A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane) is a San Francisco Bay Area based jazz string quartet formed in 1985 by violinists Darol Anger and David Balakrishnan, and still actively touring worldwide and recording as of 2016. They were the first string quartet to achieve artistic and commercial success integrating jazz improvisation, jazz rhythms and comping using extended techniques. Their extensive repertoire consists primarily of compositions and arrangements by quartet members that highlight their versatility by bridging several styles including Bluegrass, European classical music, funk, jazz, Latin American music, and Indian classical music. They became known for their renditions of jazz standards, such as founding violinist David Balakrishnan's Grammy-nominated arrangement of "A Night In Tunisia" by Dizzy Gillespie, "Stolen Moments" by Oliver Nelson, or "Blue Rondo a la Turk" by Dave Brubeck on Art of the Groove, as well as for jazz interpretations of famous classical music pieces, as shown on the humorously titled "Bach's Lunch" on The Hamburg Concert. The quartet has also covered rock and roll pieces, such as Jimi Hendrix's "Gypsy Eyes" on Who Do We Think We Are? and Eric Clapton's - originally Robert Johnson's - "Crossroads" on Skylife.

In addition to playing as a quartet, they have collaborated with renowned jazz artists such as clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, pianist Kenny Barron, the classical string quartet Ying Quartet, vocalist Tierney Sutton and several major orchestras.

Their name was taken by co-founder Darol Anger from Native American mythology, where "Turtle Island" is the name for the North American continent, courtesy of poet Gary Snyder's influential book of the same name.


  • 1 Quartet members
  • 2 Awards and recognition
  • 3 Discography
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Quartet members

As of 2016:

  • David Balakrishnan – violin and baritone violin (original member)
  • Alex Hargreaves – violin
  • Benjamin von Gutzeit – viola
  • Malcolm Parson – cello

Former members:

  • Mark Summer – cello (original member)
  • Darol Anger – violin and baritone violin (original member)
  • Mads Tolling – violin
  • Jeremy Kittel – viola
  • Tracy Silverman – violin
  • Danny Seidenberg – viola
  • Evan Price – violin
  • Irene Sazer – viola
  • Katrina Wreede – viola
  • Laurie Moore – viola (original member)
  • Jeremy Cohen – violin
  • Mateusz Smoczynski – violin

Awards and recognition

  • Grammy Awards and Grammy Nominations
    • Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album for 4 + Four (2006)[1]
    • Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album for A Love Supreme: The Legacy Of John Coltrane (2008)[2]
    • Grammy Nomination for Best Classical Compilation for "Mike Marshall and the Turtle Island Quartet" (2015)
    • Grammy Nomination for Instrumental Composition with David Balakrishnan's composition "Confetti Man" (2016)


  • Turtle Island String Quartet – 1988 Windham Hill
  • Metropolis – 1989 Windham Hill
  • Skylife – 1990 Windham Hill
  • A Shock to the System – 1990 Windham Hill
  • On the Town – 1991 Windham Hill
  • Spider Dreams – 1992 Windham Hill
  • Who Do We Think We Are? – 1994 Windham Hill
  • A Night in Tunisia, A Week in Detroit – 1994 Chandos
  • By the Fireside – 1995 Windham Hill
  • The Hamburg Concert – 1997 CCn'C Records
  • A Windham Hill Retrospect – 1997 Windham Hill
  • Art of the Groove – 2000 Koch
  • Danzon – 2002 Koch
  • 4 + Four – 2005 Telarc, with the Ying Quartet
  • A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane – 2007 Telarc
  • Have You Ever Been..?: The Music Of Jimi Hendrix and David Balakrishnan – 2010 Concord
  • Mike Marshall and the Turtle Island Quartet – 2014 Adventure
  • Confetti Man – 2014 Azica


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]

External links

  • Turtle Island Quartet homepage
  • "Turtle Island Quartet: Bending Musical Lines". National Public Radio. 2005-05-11. Retrieved 2006-05-08. 
  • "Speak For Yourself! A Hyper-History of American Composer-Led New Music Ensembles". American Music Center. 1999-05-01. Retrieved 2006-05-08. 
  • Music Mavericks Turtle Island Quartet Revolutionize Jazz
  • [3]
  • "In Conversation with David Balakrishnan of the Turtle Island String Quartet" by Eugene Marlow, (Jazz.com).

Upcoming Live Shows

Powered by:

Turtle Island Quartet has 1 upcoming show:

Further Reading

There is no further reading information at this time.

Complete Video List

Sort By:
          Enter your Rock Peaks username.
          Enter the password that accompanies your username.
          Forgot Password?

          Not a Member Yet?


          It's Free!