Center for the Arts Welcomes Turtle Island Quartet with Sérgio and Odair Assad

Posted: October 14, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The classical string ensemble Turtle Island Quartet joins forces with guitar virtuosos Sérgio and Odair Assad for a performance at Mason’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m.

A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Together Turtle Island Quartet and the Assad brothers will create a wild celebration performing music from across the globe: from the lands of Africa and India, to the Appalachian Mountains, from the rhythmic poetry of the Balkans, to the warmth and passion of Brazil and everything in between.

Turtle Island Quartet
Turtle Island Quartet
Photo by Jay Blakesberg

The performance includes the works of Chick Corea, Egberto Gismonti, Astor Piazzolla, Ralph Towner, Sérgio Assad and his daughter, Clarice, and Turtle Island violinist David Balakrishnan.

The Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings since its inception in 1985.

Composed of violinists David Balakrishnan and Mads Tolling, violist Jeremy Kittel and cellist Mark Summer, the ensemble combines the classical string-quartet esthetic with contemporary styles including jazz, folk, bluegrass, rock, swing, funk, hip-hop, R&B and ethnic music.

This critically acclaimed ensemble has recorded more than a dozen albums, including “4+Four” (with the Ying Quartet) and “A Love Supreme,” both Grammy winners in the Best Classical Crossover category.

Brazilian-born brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad come from a background rich in Brazilian music tradition and studied with the finest guitarists in South America, including guitar/lutenist Monina Távora, a disciple of Andrés Segovia.

Assad brothers
Sérgio and Odair Assad
Photo by J. Henry Fair

The brothers have played a major role in creating and introducing music for two guitars, and their virtuosity has inspired many composers to write music for them.

They have also recorded with classical composers and artists such as Yo-Yo Ma. The Assads recorded several albums with the renowned cellist, including one that won a Grammy in 1998. Their 2002 album, “Sérgio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla,” also won a Latin Grammy.

The Assads’ recording, “Jardim Abandonado,” was recently nominated for a Latin Grammy award in the category of Best Classical Album, and a composition from the album, “Tahhiyya Li Ossoulina,” has been nominated in the Best Classical Contemporary Composition category.

Tickets are $42, $34 and $21; and tickets for children age 12 and under are half price. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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