Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the world’s premier banjo player. Others claim that Béla has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Béla, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, and put it into unique settings.
The 15-time Grammy Award winner has been nominated in more categories than any other artist in Grammy history, and remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat. Most recently, Béla and Abigail Washburn took home the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. In 2009, Béla produced the award-winning documentary and recordings, Throw Down Your Heart, where he journeyed across Africa to research the origins of the banjo. In 2011, Fleck premiered The Impostor with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, an unprecedented banjo concerto, followed by the companion documentary, How to Write a Banjo Concerto. In 2016, Béla unveiled his second concerto Juno with the Canton Symphony Orchestra.
“This is no lightweight score. It probes the instrument’s depth and diversity with complex textures, frequent meter changes and demanding technique. Hints of blues and bluegrass are never far away, a palpable tie-in with genres that elevated Fleck to his exalted position in the banjo world. But Fleck is also a skilled composer and orchestrator, whose arsenal includes a wide array of colors, clear formal architecture and solos for instruments as diverse as bass clarinet, contrabassoon and tuba."Birmingham News, AL – Birmingham Symphony - January 13, 2012
"His virtuosity as a banjo player is unrivaled, and the concerto allowed an opportunity to showcase his abilities within a symphonic world of his own creation. The piece was a tour de force of musical intelligence, wit, and restless creativity." No Depression Blog– Nashville Symphony September 28, 2011 ... read full bio