Bela Fleck & More Set for NY Banjo Summit at Jorgensen, 10/12
Seven of the world's greatest five-string banjo players will stop Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at Jorgensen Center on the UConn campus to hold a "New York Banjo Summit" that ranges from solos and duets to full-tilt banjo blowouts. These experts have united for a limited East Coast tour to perform with an acoustic band in conventional and unexpected ways and covering the traditional bluegrass and old-time country to the more progressive jazz, classical and rock genres. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Banjo master Béla Fleck will be joined on stage by fellow pickers - all with ties to New York State - Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Richie Stearns, Eric Weissberg and Noam Pikelny, plus special guest Abigail Washburn.
Béla Fleck - born and raised in Manhattan - began making waves with a series of progressive banjo-centric recordings in the 1970s and as a member of the Newgrass Revival in the 1980s. As leader of the genre-busting Béla Fleck and the Flecktones since 1989, he has used the banjo to define the band's one-of-a-kind fusion of jazz, rock, bluegrass and world music. His collaborations with jazz piano icon Chick Corea, Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, classical bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, and African artists Toumani Diabate and Oumou Sangare have brought the banjo even further into unchartered territories. Fleck has been nominated for Grammy Awards in more categories than any artist in history, and has won 15 to date, with 30 nominations.
Tony Trischka - originally from Syracuse - took the bluegrass banjo to a whole new level in the 1970s with a series of recordings that explored rock and avant-garde jazz. He served as the teenage Fleck's banjo teacher, and continues to explore the traditions and possibilities of the banjo through his "World Turning" concerts, his band Territory and as a record producer for artists such as Steve Martin.
Bill Keith - of Woodstock, NY - is widely considered a trail blazer of the melodic style of banjo picking he demonstrated as a member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. He went on to join the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and then helped pioneer the early newgrass movement through his work in bands with artists such as David Grisman, Peter Rowan and Richard Greene. He invented the "Keith tuners" that are used by banjo players around the world.
Eric Weissberg - raised in Manhattan and now residing in Woodstock - helped to bring the sound of the bluegrass banjo to mainstream America with his performance of "Dueling Banjos" on the soundtrack of the major motion picture "Deliverance." This signature tune has gone on to become the world's most familiar bluegrass instrumental.