Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn to Play Chan Centre, 5/10

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn to Play Chan Centre, 5/10

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) presents two of America's finest banjo players - Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn - on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 8pm. The husband and wife team - touring as a duo - will present music developed together, featuring an eclectic mix of bluegrass, traditional, and original compositions.

"Béla Fleck is one of the Chan Centre's most cherished and demanded performers. Every time he visits, it is a completely unique musical experience," said Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre, "We've seen him collaborate in a trio and backed by his incomparable band, the Flecktones - but this will be something totally different. An intimate concert with a fellow banjo player - one equally eclectic and famed for introducing Chinese musical traditions to the instrument. The combination is sure to be entirely unprecedented and utterly spellbinding."

Fleck is a long-time Chan Centre favourite, last-seen in 2009 with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer, and is internationally renowned for endless innovation. Through unconventional, cross-genre collaborations with artists such as Chick Corea, John Williams, and Dave Matthews, he has fostered widespread appreciation and new understanding for his chosen instrument. An oft-cited and useful indicator of his breadth and depth is Fleck's status as record-holder for the most categories of GRAMMY nominations, winning 15 along the way.

Washburn is an enormously celebrated singer, songwriter, and clawhammer banjo player. Fascinated and well-versed in Chinese culture, her musical offerings have resulted in a distinctly new sound reflecting the echoes of Appalachia and the wave of emerging Chinese cultural influence. Her most recent album, City of Refuge, adds dashes of electric and percussive flavours, rendering moods that evoke Brian Eno's soundscapes as much as the earthy, expressive acoustic muscle that is at the core of Washburn's sound.

The upcoming concert represents yet another new chapter for the husband and wife team, as it marks their first year performing and touring as a couple. In this intimate, informal evening, they present a special program of music developed together, featuring an eclectic mix of traditional and original songs on two banjos and voice.

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