UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut on Jan. 12

In its new program, “Jelly, Rags and Monk,” featuring jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, the group embraces a range of composers, from Jelly Roll Morton to Thelonious Monk, a genius of the modern jazz era.

cyrus chestnutJazz pianist Cyrus ChestnutGrammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet will bring its new program, “Jelly, Rags and Monk,” featuring jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 12.

A truly one-of-a-kind string ensemble, Turtle Island Quartet is equally proficient as a jazz quartet and as a contemporary chamber group. It blurs those lines and more while rewriting the rules of classical and modern improvised music. Its new program features Chestnut, called “the best jazz pianist of his generation” by Time magazine. Making soulful and sweet connections that delve deeply into the jazz and classical traditions, the quintet embraces a range of composers. Together, the group connects the early roots of jazz directly to Thelonious Monk, a genius of the modern jazz era.

The concert will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 12, in the Alys Stephens Center’s Jemison Concert Hall. This performance is part of the ASC Salon Series, which offers the unique setting of on-stage seating and a post-performance meet-and-greet. The performance program will be announced from the stage. Tickets are $78 for onstage seating and $42 for choral balcony seating. ASC members receive $10 off tickets.

UAB students and faculty may purchase $25 tickets; a limited number of $25 tickets are available for each show. All UAB students, faculty and staff may receive a 20 percent discount on single tickets. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit 

Buy three or more tickets to any performance in the Alys Stephens Center Jazz Series and save 30 percent off the total cost. Offer is valid only online when purchasing tickets. This offer may not be used with other offers; availability is limited. The offer expires on April 12, 2017.

turtle islandTurtle Island QuartetTurtle Island Quartet is violinist David Balakrishnan, the group’s founder; violinist Alex Hargreaves; cellist Malcom Parson; and Benjamin Von Gutzeit, viola. Its name derived from creation mythology found in Native American folklore, the Turtle Island Quartet since its inception in 1985 has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Winner of the 2006 and 2008 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Crossover category, Turtle Island fuses the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed TIQ to be “a unified voice that truly breaks new ground — authentic and passionate — a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”

Chestnut is a musical force who utilizes his classical, spiritual and jazz influences to entertain and capture his audiences. As one of the world’s most respected pianists, Chestnut has been lauded by various jazz publications and featured in the New York Times for his unique musical style. Recently appointed to the faculty at the prestigious Howard University Department of Music, Chestnut continues to honor the legacy of education and mentorship by offering lectures on jazz piano and improvisation to the next generation of musical artists.

  • January 12