Genre-exploding banjo innovation
Says Béla Fleck about wife, Abigail Washburn, "Abby and I have played as a duo since we first met, trying impromptu duets at picking parties, doing a few tunes at benefits, and occasional radio shows together, but we never took our act on the road—'til now. With the birth of our little boy Juno, we decided that the best way to stay together more would be to play together more." Béla and Abigail are old friends of The Ark and favorites of Ann Arbor audiences, and we're excited to present them for the first time as a duo. This is a picking partnership unlike any other on the planet! Béla Fleck is quite simply one of the world's most innovative and brilliant banjo players. With the band New Grass Revival in the 1980s, he took the nascent genre of progressive bluegrass into territories it had never seen. In 1988 he and bassist Victor Wooten formed Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Their shows, legendary in this area, span genres from bluegrass to jazz to funk to classical to, increasingly, music of the whole world. Abigail Washburn took up the banjo in China, where she realized she wanted to learn traditional American music to present to her hosts and fell in love with the music of Doc Watson. She went on to perfect a fusion of bluegrass and Chinese music that was unlike anything else out there, and her work since then has been daring and fearless. Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn married several years ago, but they didn't immediately try to turn their personal partnership into a musical one. Now they're ready, and the result should be an evening of breathtaking originality.
This show takes place at the Power Center, 121 Fletcher, Ann Arbor 48109.