For anyone who tries to pigeonhole the banjo as purely a bluegrass instrument, Béla Fleck is here to turn that stereotype on its head.
Béla has taken the banjo across the musical map, delving into its African roots and transporting it into the realm of classical music. He is widely considered the “premiere banjo player in the world,” garnering 14 Grammys in his music career.
This past weekend, Mountain Stage presented Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, his wife and accomplished banjo player in her own right, in a rare duo performance at the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. Béla Fleck first appeared on Mountain Stage with New Grass Revival in 1989. Over the course of 24 years he has repeatedly visited the show (11 times, to be exact) with The Flecktones, Chris Thile, and now, Abigail Washburn. This episode of Mountain Stage will be scheduled for later distribution on local stations by NPR in spring 2013.
Before the show, Béla took a minute to snap this photo with Mountain Stage‘s host, Larry Groce. Thanks for the love, Béla!