Originally appeared on the Ball State Daily News website

Performing classical music and merging it with other styles such as jazz, R&B and hip-hop, the two-time Grammy Award-winning group Turtle Island Quartet will be coming to Ball State this week, allowing campus to experience the band’s unique style.

The Turtle Island Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in Sursa Performance Hall.

Since being established in 1985, the Turtle Island Quartet has continued to expand the styles of music and has innovated new ways to create music through strings with the release of their 15th record “Confetti Man.”

With just four men — two on violins, one cello and one viola — the group creates a wide variety of music that even the most selective person would have trouble resisting.

“Appealing to a wide range of audiences, we are excited to bring this string quartet to Sursa Hall on January 17 and provide the opportunity for the campus and community to experience this truly unique classical crossover performance,” said Kristi Chambers, the assistant director of marketing and communications at Emens Auditorium.

David Balakrishnan is one of the two violinists and also the group’s founder and “resident composer.” He has earned two Grammy nominations in the arranging category and has been recently nominated in 2016 for a Grammy in the competition category for his piece “Confetti Man” on the group’s latest record.

Alex Hargreaves has performed on stages around the world and is now one of the violinists in the Turtle Island Quartet. With his love for jazz and improvisational-based music, he completed the Berklee Global Jazz Institute at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Malcolm Parson is the quartet’s cellist and was a longtime member of the Grammy-winning band “Carolina Chocolate Drops.” He studied at Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program and Berklee College of Music in Boston. 

Benjamin Von Gutzeit is the viola player for the Turtle Island Quartet and won the 1992 and 1994 German Youth Competition Jugend Musiziert, which led to a solo concert tour in Japan. He was the first violist to earn a Master’s Degree from the jazz department of the Manhattan School of Music.

Balakrishnan said the best part about performing is the moment when he first comes out on stage and sees the audience. 

“There is an uncertainty about what to expect during the performance and watching it unravel throughout the show,” he said.

One thing about the show is certain, though — these talented and acclaimed performers are going to give Ball State a show it’s not likely to forget. 

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