Barnaby Monk 5 a.m., Nov. 26
Sound description: Jungle two-step trip-hop. Turtle's musical education has grown to include genres as far reaching as vocal jazz, African percussion, choral conducting, recording and producing, and a comedic stage performance.
RIYL: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Kyle Phelan, Toad The Wet Sproket, Barenaked Ladies
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- Website · Sept. 14, 2007
- Musician Interviews · June 15, 2006
Current Status: Playing and touring.
Influences: Glen Phillips, Imogen Heap, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Pete Yorn, Marc Broussard, Kyle Phelan
Jason Turtle grew up in Cupertino, California, a small Silicon Valley community. His formal piano training began at age five and continued until high school. Then he set aside his piano and immersed himself in the school choir and other a cappella groups. It wasn't until his senior year that he even looked at an acoustic guitar.
He began playing guitar and writing music while attending community college. After meeting a musician who had made his mark in a distant city called San Diego, he relocated there to finish out his academics and to begin exploring the local music scene.
For the next four years, Jason divided his time between San Diego State University's School of Music and local coffeehouses. He was encouraged by the positive response, and his aspirations as a songwriter grew exponentially.
The musical duo Jason and Jane (2000) started out as two friends singing a few Jason-tunes together. What began as a hobby (playing an occasional open-mic for friends) soon gained serious momentum (two albums and a slew of venues). From San Diego to L.A. to Northern California to Nevada, Jason and Jane explored the local scene and beyond.
"I've had about 12 guitars since I first started playing," says Turtle. "I've finally broken it down to 3. One is a Martin D-1 with an LR Baggs i-Beam pickup system in it. I think I was a drummer in a former life, so I like to play the guitar as if it were one. The LR Baggs picks up my banging on it really well. Another is a baby Taylor with a Fishman piezo pickup that I had installed. It's my practice guitar, but it definitely makes my hands lazy. When I play shows with the full size, they tend to cramp up by the third song or so. So I tell as many stories as I possibly can to let them get some rest. Of all the guitars, my Yamaha F310 is my favorite. Someone bought it at Costco for $99 and just gave it to me. It tunes great, plays great, and doesn't sound all that great, but because it's the same model as my absolute first guitar, I'll never be able to let go of it."
Discussing San Diego's other acoustic guitarist Jason -- Jason Mraz -- Turtle says "When I was performing with Jane Lui, we had a few gigs with him and were beginning to try to collaborate. This was right before he got really big, so he was around more. He came over to write...we decided to smoke a bit to loosen things up and get the creative thinking flowing, but all it did was make me more paranoid. Between him and me, we kept trying out different melodies and chords -- 'How's this?' and 'What about this?' I couldn't think straight."
-- Press bio
- J Turtle Project