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Husband and wife banjoists Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn have mastered the intricate art of the duet with two banjos and one voice. Washburn’s beguiling composing, playing and singing blend with Fleck’s riveting and virtuosic musicianship to take audiences on a captivating musical journey using seven different banjos. They take the instrument into unusual territory like funk, jazz and classical while blending Appalachian folk and bluegrass elements.
Fleck has collaborated with a long list of legendary artists including Chick Corea, Oumou Sangare, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, Dave Matthews, and Earl Scruggs. Known and loved worldwide for his reinvention of the image and sound of the banjo, Béla Fleck recorded his first banjo solo album at the age of 19. Since then, he has shared the stage with Sting, Bonnie Raitt and the Grateful Dead, among many others. He melds be-bop, jazz, classical and bluegrass together in a surprising wash of color and light.
He is the recipient of 16 GRAMMY Awards including best Pop Instrumental Album. With 30 GRAMMY nominations, he holds the distinction of receiving nominations in more categories than anyone in GRAMMY history.
Abagain Washburn’s banjo has taken her far beyond the usual old-time comfort zone, musically and geographically; her adopted second homeland is China, and her music resounds with echoes of Appalachia and the tidal wave of emerging Chinese cultural influence. Together, Fleck and Washburn employ the relatively rare 3-finger and clawhammer banjo duet to create an explosion of musical white heat.
Together they take old-time Americana music, pair it with folk elements with far-flung sounds to create a music that is both strangely familiar and unlike anything heard before.
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