Bela Fleck, the genre-busting banjo player who has redefined the instrument to a worldwide audience, will play perform in concert with the original lineup Bela Fleck & The Flecktones April 10 at Rose State Performing Theatre in Oklahoma City.
The original lineup of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – including Howard Levy on harmonica/piano – will be together for the first time in almost two decades. The band is Bela Fleck (banjo), Howard Levy (piano/harmonica), Victor Wooten (bass), and Roy “Futureman” Wooten (percussion/Drumitar).
Song “Life In Eleven,” from the Flecktones’ reunion record, “Rocket Science,” earlier this year won a Grammy in the Best Instrumental Composition category. The much-praised new material on “Rocket Science” presents a broad range of influences, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, African music, electric blues, and Eastern European folk dances. This collaboration of the four original virtuosos is more like a new beginning rather than a culmination, as they continue to compose groundbreaking music with their signature inventive instrumentation.
A New York City native with musical roots in the traditional bluegrass music associated with banjo – he was inspired to pick up the instrument after hearing the late great Earl Scruggs, who died this week, play the theme song to “The Beverly Hillbillies” – Fleck’s departures into blues, jazz, classical and world music have netted the artist more than 30 Grammy nominations and double digit wins. While memorable stops with the New Grass Revival and his own Flecktones provided hints to his musicianship and direction, Bela Fleck remains a unique artist who continues to defy musical classification. In addition to the fusion of blues and jazz that brought the Flecktones to national prominence in the 1990s and can be heard on “Rocket Science,” the band’s current repertoire also includes African-inspired melodies and rhythms from Fleck’s acclaimed “Throw Down Your Heart” film and CD project.
For tickets or information on the April 10 show, call 297-2264 or go to www.myticketoffice.com.
Prior to the April 10 concert, Fleck will visit the American Banjo Museum in the Bricktown district of downtown Oklahoma City. Since opening in 2009, the American Banjo Museum – with its world class collection of more than 300 ornate vintage instruments – has developed into a must see Oklahoma City attraction which celebrates the vibrant history and heritage of America’s adopted native musical instrument.
In addition to touring the museum (where he is recognized as one of six Banjo Heroes who have defined the banjo to their respective generations), Fleck will participate in a Q&A session with the media as well museum visitors. During this special event, the American Banjo Museum will be closed to the general public but will offer complimentary admission to a limited number of people who are holding tickets for Fleck’s Rose State concert.
While no admission charge will be required for museum entrance during the Bela Fleck Q&A session, tickets will be required and seating is not guaranteed. Q&A session tickets will be distributed beginning Tuesday at the museum. Q&A session ticket requests must be made in person at the American Banjo Museum, 9 E Sheridan Ave. Each Q&A session ticket request must be accompanied by a ticket to the April 10 concert; no additional guest tickets will be provided. Telephone, text, mail or email requests for Q&A session tickets cannot be honored.
For more information, go to www.americanbanjomuseum.com.