The Tin Hat Quartet,
featuring guitarist Mark Orton, multi-instrumentalist Ara Anderson (pump organ, trumpet, percussion), violinist-vocalist Carla Kihlstedt and clarinet player Ben Goldberg, offers a unique blend of jazz, folk and contemporary classical music. The quartet’s sound is highly defined by the education and performance experiences of the individual members. Kihlstedt majored in classical violin performance at the Oberlin Conservatory and she and her violin were highlighted on both the recordings of Philip Glass and John Zorn. Mark Orton, who plays guitar, dobro, lute, banjo and lap steel, studied composition and put many soundtracks to his name. The music of Ara Anderson, who succeeded in snaring Jolie Holland for his debut album, is sometimes compared to the music of Tom Waits, minus Waits’ voice. Ben Goldberg studied composition and made a name for himself as a member of The New Klezmer Trio. Those four components give the Tin Hat Quartet’s sound a unique, incomparable character.