Described by SF Weekly as a “collision of Django Reinhardt and David Grisman,” Taarka is the new acoustic “supergroup” (Flagstaff Live) “presenting masterfully deep americana and gypsyjazz string band music!” Led by the husband-and-wife team of David Pelta-Tiller (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals) and Enion Pelta-Tiller (five-string violin, vocals) and bassist Troy Robey, and lately our forth... more
Described by SF Weekly as a “collision of Django Reinhardt and David Grisman,” Taarka is the new acoustic “supergroup” (Flagstaff Live) “presenting masterfully deep americana and gypsyjazz string band music!” Led by the husband-and-wife team of David Pelta-Tiller (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals) and Enion Pelta-Tiller (five-string violin, vocals) and bassist Troy Robey, and lately our forth member has been either master guitarist Grant Gordy (David Grisman Quintet), or the impeccable guitarist Ross Martin (Matt Flinner Trio)
David, a versatile picker raised in Virginia on a steady diet of bluegrass, Celtic, classical and gypsyjazz, and Enion Pelta-Tiller, a classically-trained violinist who can switch seamlessly between Bartók and bebop (not to mention Gypsy jazz, punk, rock, bluegrass) began their journey together in 2001. After meeting at a Brooklyn Browngrass gig, the two began a Gypsy jazz busker act in the New York City subway before hitting the road as Taarka.
Though Taarka presently balances between singer songwriting and instrumentals, from its beginnings as a purely instrumental string band putting a modern spin on Gypsy and Eastern European folk music, Taarka has drawn from wide-ranging influences over the past 10 years. Sophisticated listeners would be able to distill flavors of Western and Eastern folk traditions, jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian, and Celtic music all in a string band setting. Taarka has lately been gaining notice for their songwriting, which is informed by traditional bluegrass, oldtime and folk from America and Europe, 19th century poetry, and rock inspired by performances with some of the greatest names in songwriting today, including Darrell Scott, Greg Brown, James McMurtry, and Nathan Moore, but which incorporates sweeping pop and popping gypsy elements.
Since 2006, when David and Enion landed in Lyons, CO — known for its bluegrass and new acoustic scene— And Troy now relocated from the Northwest to Denver– their compositional output has taken on a decidedly American aura, with vocals added to enhance the stories told in their songs. Their fifth studio album, Adventures in Vagabondia, will be released in January 2013.
Taarka’s joyous recordings benefit from starry guest performances and David’s masterful production work—each a carefully crafted travelogue tracing a phase of the group’s evolution. Yet unsurprisingly, Taarka’s calling card is its colorful live show. Of Taarka’s performance at the Oregon Country Fair, Synthesis Magazine wrote, “Taarka began driving the painted and costumed crowd into a dancing frenzy…they combined Roma, Klezmer and jazz, infusing their rousing and exciting tunes with breakneck Zappa-esque breakdowns and insurmountable gusto. Regardless of your particular musical tastes, Taarka is a band that simply must be witnessed.”
The band is equally potent whether as a down-and-dirty duo act or a stellar extended line- up featuring a top-notch array of fellow travelers. David and Enion have performed with members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band as well as Darol Anger, Joe Craven, ALO, Keller Williams, Danny Barnes, Steve Kimock, Taj Mahal, Widespread Panic, The Samples, and Aquarium Rescue Unit, Kaki King, Rob Wasserman, Tony Furtado, The Motet, Dan Bern and The Everyone Orchestra.
Taarka has performed at major festivals across the country including High Sierra, Joshua Tree Music Festival, Oregon Country Fair, Sisters Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass, Mendocino Music Festival, Bumbershoot, Seattle Folklife, Nedfest, Lightening in a Bottle, Berkeley World Music Festival, Aspen Bluegrass Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and The Millpond Folk Festival and many more…less