About TAARKA

“Their voices sound fantastic together…Enion is a marvelous violin player, and David is her equal on mandolin.” -No Depression

Taarka seamlessly fuses brilliant instrumental chops with songwriting of great depth and creativity, cooking up musical “sustenance that stays with you long after you’ve pushed away from the table.” Adventurers through the many landscapes of music and true world travelers, veterans of 1000-year floods and veggie oil tour buses, David (voice, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar) and Enion Pelta-Tiller (voice, 5-string violin) spin stories and melodies that delight, inspire, and move all who listen.

Bassist Max Johnson (Jeff Austin Band, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado) will be joining the group for select performances.

More about Taarka:

Once described as “a collision between Django Reinhardt and David Grisman” (SF Weekly), Taarka’s live shows now strike a balance between well-crafted songs and spirited instrumentals, expanding on their 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 16 years. Since 2006, when David and Enion landed in Lyons, CO, known for its bluegrass and new acoustic scene their compositional output has taken on a decidedly American bent, with vocals added to enhance the stories told in their songs.
Travel throughout North and Central America and Europe has infused their sound with flavors of Western and Eastern folk traditions, jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian, and Celtic music. Noteworthy is their inclusion of an ancient Galician (Spanish) ballad, Meirol, in their live shows and on their forthcoming album (as yet untitled). Their seventh studio album, Fading Mystery, was released in March 2017.

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 groups 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. Taarka and its members have performed onstage with members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band as well as Peter Rowan, 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 continent including Festival International de Chihuahua (MX), Music Fest Vancouver (CA), High Sierra, Pagosa Folk n’ Bluegrass, Joshua Tree Music Festival, Oregon Country Fair, Sisters Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass, Mendocino Music Festival, Bumbershoot, Seattle Folklife, The Millpond Folk Festival and many more.

What does Taarka mean?

In Indian cooking, “taarka” is the word to describe roasting spices to create the base for an indian culinary delicacy. A wet t(a)arka is a mix of garlic, ginger and onions sauteed in ghee. A dry t(a)arka is a mixture of whole spices, dry-roasted or fried in oil, til the seeds begin to pop. Taarka is in fact the sound of the spices roasting…

Other Meanings of TAARKA
  • The first name of a celebrated Seto (Estonian) folksinger – Hilana Taarka, which means Taarka from the village of Hilana.
  • In Poland, the device with which one shreds vegetables. This device is known as a Mandolin in English cooking practice.
  • In Tibetan: Walnut
  • T(a)arka is also the daughter of the demon suriya in Hindu mythology – a most evil demoness.
  • In Magyar, the language of Hungary: Colorful
  • A hand-made Flute from Bolivia, which plays a 5 note scale.
  • In the ever-more-popular Grand Unified Theory in modern physics, which states that the smallest states of matter – quarks, leptons, and other subatomic particles – are not particulate, but are composed of strings of energy which vibrate in different ways to create different “particle behaviors,” taarka is the term used to describe the vibration of the strings.
  • Tarka (note the single ‘a’) is a heart medication, which, as a Missoula, Montana rag informed us, causes nausea, diarrhea, constipation (?!), and dizziness. This should explain why we use 2 a’s instead of one in the definitions where one is the norm.
  • The residue left on the inside of your skull when you wake up from a really great dream.
  • A village in Tunisia.
  • A Croatian Noodle Dish.
  • A town/train line/otter in England.

If you find a definition and want to send it to us (legit definitions only, please), email us at taarka@taarka.com. We’d love to add it to our list!