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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.

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