Press Kit

“There are Gypsy-jazz, bluegrass, Celtic, chamber-folk, jazz, rock, and even Indian influences, all distilled through a gifted group that has toured extensively on the jam-band circuit, but who at its best sounds unlike anyone else in that genre…this eclectic quartet has harvested a bountiful feast of new string-band music.”

– Greg Cahill, Strings Magazine, (National), Published Oct. 2009


“…the four performers are drawn equally to backwoods fiddle tunes, the avant-garde acoustic music pioneered by mandolinist David Grisman, storytelling singer-songwriters, and the swinging jazz of Django Reinhardt. At times, however, there seems to be a rock band lurking just underneath the surface…”

– Alexander Varty, The Georgia Straight (Vancouver, BC), Published July 30, 2009


“Listening to the mad Gypsy sounds of Taarka’s Seed Gathering for a Winter Garden is like a temporary escape from the mundane modern world into an exotic caravan traveling a fantastic world. The instrumentals range from the frenetic bluegrass stylings of the opening track, “Artic Meltdown,” to the insistent, intricate interplay of guitar and violin on “A Whole New You.” The vocal tracks are all smoky, seductive nuggets of Gypsy folk pop with dark undercurrents, similar to a less melodramatic DeVotchKa. There’s not a bad track on the album, and the band wisely wraps with “Vestal Flame,” easily the best of the batch. Blending Old World exoticism with thoroughly American folk and just a hint of a modern edge, Taarka conjures up a rich, detailed and delightful landscape.”

Cory Casciato, Westword (Denver, CO), Published April 15, 2009


“Seed Gathering” is full of forceful newgrass and folk that will catch the ear of any fan of solid musicianship.”

Lori Heuston, Mail Tribune (Medford, OR), Published March 27, 2009


“…jaunty and precise, yet beguilingly enigmatic….The Taarka two are casually virtuosic players, more than holding their own alongside nationally known guests such as violinists Darol Anger and Casey Driessen…As a bonus, the pair sing, too, with Enion sweetening David’s effectively gruff vocals…it’s a mighty fine Soundtrack.”

– Michael Roberts, Westword (Denver, CO), Published Feb. 14, 2008 from Taarka: The Martian Picture Soundtrack feature. Review of The Martian Picture Soundtrack (2008)


“Enion Pelta-Tiller (violins, vocals) and David Tiller (guitars, mandolin, vocals), both members of ThaMuseMeant, follow a slippery, seductive muse here, dipping into Django Reinhardt’s Hot Club of France, acoustic music pioneers Oregon, ’70s folk-rock and more. In their capable hands, strings move freely about the sonic spectrum, yet always in an inviting, fragrant way…The Martian Picture Soundtrack is sustenance that stays with you long after you’ve pushed away from the table.”

– Dennis Cook,, Published Jan. 22, 2008. Review of The Martian Picture Soundtrack (2008)


“Fans of David Grisman or early Bela Fleck should love this second release from Taarka… This CD covers all bases for the jazzgrass, folk, or new acoustic fan, and should appeal to all those who appreciate joyful musical diversity, sweet melodies, and solid musicianship.”

– Susan J. Weiland,, Published Apr. 6, 2004, from Taarka: Even Odd Bird feature, Review of Even Odd Bird (2004)


“Tiller and Pelta compliment each other as well, each providing nice backgrounds to the other’s solos. Pelta is perhaps the crown jewel of Taarka, as her playing is virtuosity in action. She can play absolutely haunting melodies, but also can rain pure bliss on audiences. Tiller uses his mandolin more as a classical instrument than a bluegrass one . While he can get down home at times, it seems Tiller approaches his instrument more as an entity with a mind of its own, and thus he does not fall prey to too many influences other than his own unique vision. Tiller’s mandolin style is one of the most original I’ve heard.”

– Matt Zeigler, Flagstaff Live (Flagstaff, AZ), Published Oct. 21, 2002, from Taarka Grooves: Take a trip through world music feature article. Review of Taarka Live


“[Taarka’s] performance was a high-energy romp filled with jubilant peaks and breath-catching valleys, sudden impeccably calculated tempo changes, crescendos and mysterious explorations”

– Maurice S. Teilman, Synthesis (Chico, CA), Published Nov. 18, 2002, from Music section, Review of Nov. 12, 2002 performance


“Taarka – acoustic, classic, intelligent and funky as the proverbial motherfucker…an ensemble of classical, jazz, and folk musicians who use their skills and healthy dose of creativity to create music unlike anything you’ve ever heard.”

– James Barone, Synthesis (Chico, CA), Published Nov. 11, 2002, from The Goods teaser for Taarka feature and interview


“Taarka is the name of one of acoustic music’s hottest up-and-coming bands. Taarka might be best described as an acoustic supergroup….imagine Django Reinhardt playing with David Grisman. Taarka trods the back alleyways of gypsy music and twirls through fields of bluegrass, all the while swinging like the hippest of jazz cats. Their music takes us through a range of human emotion, from melancholy and sorrow to joy and rapture…[they focus] all their energy on a breathless synergy of sounds…culminating in an intensity rarely found in acoustic music.”

– Matt Zeigler, Flagstaff Live (Flagstaff, AZ), Published Oct. 21, 2002, from Taarka Grooves: Take a trip through world music feature article


“The compositions on “Man Chasing Woman [Around Table]”…are as beautiful, daring, and strange as should be expected from such immense talent…Highest recommendation possible.”

– Aaron Shakra, Oregon Daily Emerald (Eugene, OR), Published Apr. 3, 2003, from Musical Talent, Emotions Abound on “Chasing” feature, Review of Man Chasing Woman Around Table (2003)


“Fans of Bela Fleck will enjoy the masterful playing and eclectic compositions this first effort [Taarka Live in the Studio (2002)].”

– Greg Keidan,, Published Oct. 16, 2002, fromTaarka: Seismic Gypsy Hypno-Jazz feature


“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.”

– Maurice S. Teilman, Synthesis (Chico, CA), from Music section, Review of July 10, 2004 performance at Oregon Country Fair


“Taarka is like a drunken cross-cultural wedding party where the bride’s family is a bunch of bluegrass-loving back-to-the-landers and the groom’s crew is composed mostly of vodka-swilling Ukrainian bandits. Good times, people, good times.”

– Zack Dundas, Willamette Week (Portland, OR), Published May 7, 2003, from Music and Nightlife weekly picks


“Col. Bruce Hampton was one of the many new fans the band gained at the High Sierra Festival – I heard him say they were the best band at the fest (excluding, I assumed, the Code Talkers).”

– Greg Keidan,, Published Oct. 16, 2002, , from Taarka: Seismic Gypsy Hypno-Jazz feature


“The band was able to manipulate their sound across a spectrum, ranging from Celtic Honky-Tonk, to a a sort of Calypso-Klezmer, to tango, to Turkish folk music and then back to a bluegrassy jazz reminiscent of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones…pure instrumental talent.”

– Coby Zeifman, West Coast Performer Magazine (OR, WA, CA), Published Jan. 2006, from West Coast Performer Live Reviews feature, Review of Dec 2, 2005 performance at the W.O.W. Hall (w/ Drew Emmitt Band)


“Taarka shows that instrumental music isn’t just about technique. Even Odd Bird has the depth to transport the listener to extraordinary landscapes…”

– Erika Fredrickson, The Missoula Independent (Missoula, MT), Published on April 20, 2006, Noise CD Reviews, Review of Even Odd Bird (2004)


“These spellbinding significant others will sizzle you with a stringed jig.”

– Nicole Browner, The California Aggie (Davis, CA), Published July 12, 2007, from Artsweek section


“…in Taarka their [David Tiller and Enion Pelta-Tiller] compositional genius shines across the grandiose sheath of the American musical landscape…Their performances are fit for the main stage at High Sierra as well as orchestral centers worldwide, including Carnegie Hall.”

– Marc Tonglen, The Mountain Ear (Nederland, CO), Published Oct. 25, 2007, from The Taarka Duo: Fresh and Beyond Compare feature article in Mountain Music section


“Imagine a collision of Django Reinhardt and David Grisman…and you’ll get the idea.”

– Silke Tudor, SF Weekly, San Francisco, CA, Published Jan. 14, 2004, From House of Tudor weekly picks


“Basically, Taarka’s music is as apt to mesmerize as it is to prompt dancefloor-wrecking boogieing.”

– The Source Weekly (Bend, OR), Published Sept. 8, 2005, from Our Picks Pick of the Week

“On their newest studio release, Even Odd Bird, Taarka continues to refine and flesh out their twisting compositional music, introducing funk to traditional music from the east. The word for this goes way beyond fusion. If they didn’t know what they were doing, this kind of play could get dangerous…but rest assured ladies and gents, the music is in the hands of ascending masters”

– Jodie Buller, The Northwest Sun (Bellingham, WA), Published Mar. 18, 2004, from TAARKA feature article and interview