Turtle Island Quartet and special guest fiddler Michael Doucet present “Louisiana Story” at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. The performance, inspired by Virgil Thomson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning score to the 1948 film of the same name, explores Cajun music and the fascinating region that gave rise to this uniquely American genre.
Critics and audiences alike have hailed Turtle Island Quartet as one of the world’s preeminent cross-genre string ensembles. The origins of the group can be traced back to 1985, when violinist David Balakrishnan conceived of the modern string quartet idea while working on his master’s thesis at Antioch University West. Founding members Balakrishnan and Mark Summer, widely regarded as one of the greatest contemporary cellists, have since welcomed the young and alternative styles of violinist Mateusz Smoczynski and violist Benjamin von Gutzeit to the group. Winner of the 2006 and 2008 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Crossover, the Turtle Island Quartet is known for its ability to incorporate a diverse collection of musical genres, including folk, R&B, bluegrass and rock into the ensemble’s own original works.
Michael Doucet is a renowned fiddler and the founder of Cajun band BeauSoleil. The group has earned 11 Grammy nominations and one win in 2009 for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. A Louisiana native, Doucet has spent more than 30 years mastering his knowledge and skill of Cajun music. He first met the members of the Turtle Island Quartet in 1988, when he invited the group to perform at the Festival International de Louisiane. Afterward, they performed together in a post-concert jam session, which, more than 20 years later, resulted in the creation of “Louisiana Story.”
All ticket holders are invited to attend a free pre-performance discussion, sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts, which begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.
Tickets are $23, $38 and $46. This performance is Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 are half price when accompanied by an adult. Tickets to this performance can be purchased at the box office at George Mason University's Center for the Arts (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or by calling 888-945-2468 or visiting cfa.gmu.edu. George Mason University's Center for the Arts is located on Mason's Fairfax Campus, at the intersection of Braddock Rd. and Rt. 123. Free parking is available in Lot K and paid parking is available in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent to the Concert Hall.
For more information about these performances or other events at George Mason University's Center for the Arts, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like the Center for the Arts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gmucfa and follow the Center for the Arts on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.
This article was written by Amanda Rodriguez, with assistance from Jill Graziano Laiacona.