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 instrumentalist in Grammy history, and remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat. Most recently, Béla and his wife Abigail Washburn took home the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. Echo In The Valley is their newest release.
These days, Fleck bounces between various intriguing touring situations: he performs his banjo concertos with symphony orchestras worldwide, collaborates in a duo with Chick Coreaand a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer. He performs in concert with the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, in banjo duet with Abigail Washburn, banjo and mandolin duet with Chris Thile, and occasionally back to bluegrass with his old friends Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and others. He has collaborated with African artists such as Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate, in a jazz setting with The Marcus Roberts Trio, and don’t forget - with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, who continue to perform together 25 years after the band’s inception. Béla has recently accepted a commission to create his third concerto, which will premiere in 2018.
In the mid 1980’s Béla released Banjo Picking Styles, a series of 6 tapes and a video which contained the essential building blocks of his style up to that date. Since then, he’s been very busy learning, composing and performing; he had literally has had no time to build a teaching component into his career.
With Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, his intention is to address that, and begin to teach the things that he has learned, while also creating a meeting place for banjoists to share ideas, and their love of the banjo.