Canton Symphony Orchestra Presents BELA FLECK, 3/22

Canton Symphony Orchestra Presents BELA FLECK, 3/22

Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, many opine he's the premiere banjo player in the world. Most experts claim he reinvented the image and sound of the banjo (with no apologies to Susanna). His remarkable performing and recording career has taken him all over the musical map on a range of solo projects and collaborations. His latest stop brings him to Canton to perform two concerts with the Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO).

Already a powerfully creative force in bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock and world beat, Béla (he's regularly known by just his first name) wrote his first stand-alone banjo concerto on commission with the Nashville Symphony. This 2011 work, The Impostor, Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra, will be performed with the CSO on March 22 (8pm) at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall located at 2323 17th Street NW in Canton.

Béla will also perform the evening prior (March 21, 8pm) at Kent State Stark's Main Hall Auditorium with the CSO String Quartet. This "Up Close and Personal" concert features a few solo pieces, several of his personal compositions and arrangements of some well-known pieces such as Moonlight Sonata.

"Some artists try to re-invent themselves. Béla has reinvented several music categories," stated Michelle Mullaly, CSO Executive Director. "He has been nominated in more different musical categories than anyone in Grammy history. That shows his range of motion and innovative music abilities."

To keep things fresh, Béla bounces between various touring situations, such as performing his concerto with symphonies like the CSO, in a duo with Chick Corea, a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer, concerts with the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, duos with his wife Abigail Washburn, performances with African artists such as Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate, in a jazz collaboration with The Marcus Roberts Trio, doing bluegrass with his old friends, and rare solo concerts. Béla and the Flecktones still perform together, 25 years after the band's inception. The recipient of multiple Grammy Awards going back to 1998, Béla has won 15 Grammys with 30 total nominations.

Tickets for the March 21 concert at Kent State Stark are $60, with VIP tickets available for $125 that provide admission to a post-concert meet-n-greet reception with Béla and the CSO String Quartet.

Tickets for the March 22 concert range from $25-$45. This concert also features Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances and Franck's Symphony in d minor. There are senior, student and group discounts available. Dress is casual and the concert is appropriate for ages 8 and older. Tickets and the full concert season schedule are available online at, by calling 330-452-2094, at the box office window located inside the Cultural Center for the Arts (weekdays 10am-2pm), or by walk-up before the concert.

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Parking at the Zimmermann Symphony Center is free.


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