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Turtle Island Does Davis

Tired of hearing about jazz bands that take on classical music? Tired of being told how “original” the concept is? Me too. I can’t say it’s any better the other way around-classical groups playing jazz-but even a slight change is good for the jaded.

On March 22 in UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, the Turtle Island String Quartet will present “Blue in Green,” a viol homage to Miles Davis. If ever there were a string quartet capable of doing it right, it’s this one. Since forming in 1985, the group has kept a foot in the jazz domain, whether it be spending time in Billy Taylor’s woodshed to help out with his 1993 long work Homage, or partnering with Matt Glaser for a side project as violinist David Balakrishnan once did. While it’s true that Turtle Island’s membership changes steadily, players are always replaced with musicians who can improvise. The current lineup is: Balakrishnan, violin, baritone violin; Evan Price, violin; Danny Seidenberg, viola; Mark Summer, cello.

The Island’s Davis tribute is a nearly two-hour performance that focuses on Kind of Blue and will explore the roots of the trumpeter’s signature album as well as the music that was directly inspired by it. There will be one intermission and a discussion with the quartet will follow the performance.

The performance commences at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available at the UCLA Central Ticket Office,, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling (310) 825-2101.

Originally Published