Béla Fleck Essentials

Béla Fleck Essentials

For the ever-dextrous Béla Fleck, the humble banjo has served not just as a way of connecting with and celebrating many of America's musical traditions but a means of charting future pathways, too. Born in 1958, in New York City, Fleck was a jazz-loving teenager when his discovery of bluegrass masters like Earl Scruggs sparked a lifelong quest to demonstrate what a banjo could do. While early efforts like "Railroad" showcased his debt to old-time country, the music Fleck made with The Flecktones—the band he formed in 1988—showcased the width and depth of his knowledge and skill. The same has been true of his solo recordings and his wide-ranging collaborations with players from the worlds of folk, jazz, African music, soul, and everything else that he's eagerly explored.

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