Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn; Saturday, May 17, 2014
Kuumbwa Jazz Presents:
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Saturday, May 17
Sponsored by Barry Swenson Builder
Co-sponsored by KPIG 107.5 FM and Good Times
“the unofficial ‘first family of the banjo’” – NPR
Banjoists Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn have mastered the deceptively intricate art of the duet. Their performances embrace a diversity almost unthinkable – coming from just two banjos and one voice – a mix of traditional and original songs and tunes. Together, their performances embrace this diversity, complete with Washburn’s enchanting compositions, playing and singing blending with Fleck’s virtuosic musicianship, creating music that both encompasses all that the banjo is known for, as well as pushing its boundaries and exploring new possibilities.
Banjoists Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn have mastered not only their instruments, but the intricate art of the duet. Though both have explored the Appalachian/American roots of the instrument, Fleck has followed the musical history of the banjo all the way to Africa, and Washburn to the Steppes of China and Mongolia. Together, their performances embrace this diversity, complete with Washburn’s enchanting compositions, playing and singing blending with Fleck’s virtuosic musicianship, creating music that both encompasses all that the banjo is known for, as well as pushing its boundaries and exploring new possibilities.
Fleck, a 15-time GRAMMY winner, has collaborated with Chick Corea, Oumou Sangare, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, Dave Mathews, Earl Scruggs, and the entire Cleveland Orchestra for his Banjo Concert ‘The Impostor.’ Widely considered to be today’s greatest master of the banjo, Fleck was born in New York City but eschewed the urban musical aesthetic in his early teens, when he first heard Earl Scruggs. He rose to fame with his group, The Flecktones, and has released over thirty recordings since his 1979 debut.
Washburn’s banjo has taken her far beyond the usual old-timey comfort zone, musically and geographically. An alumnus of Uncle Earl, the powerhouse all-female string band, Washburn’s adopted second homeland is China, and her music resounds with echoes of Appalachia and the tidal wave of emerging Chinese cultural influence
Together, Fleck and Washburn employ the relatively rare 3-finger and claw hammer banjo duet to create an explosion of musical white heat. Not only are these banjo luminaries partners on the stage, but in matrimony and parenthood, with the recent birth of their son Juno. They have toured many stages together over the past few years and are prepping to eventually make a recording, but until then, audiences can revel in seeing these two masters play with, and simultaneously inspire, each other.
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
DATE: Saturday, May 17, 2014
VENUE: Rio Theatre
ADDRESS: 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
TIME: 8:00 PM
PRICE: $50/Gold Circle, $35/General, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227
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