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by Daniel Hathaway

Fleck-&-Brooklyn-RiderBanjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and the plucky young string quartet called Brooklyn Rider (Johnny Gandelsman & Colin Jacobsen, violins, Nicholas Cords, viola, and Eric Jacobsen, cello) launched their current, multi-city tour on Tuesday evening, November 12 at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron under the auspices of the Tuesday Musical Association, who had earlier sponsored Brooklyn Rider on its Fuze! series at the Akron Art Museum.

Béla Fleck has long been known for his experiments in bringing the voice of the banjo into jazz, rock and other genres of music. The impetus for connecting these five outstanding musicians came directly from Fleck’s initial foray into classical composition (it was in the stars apparently, since his parents named him Béla Anton Leoš— after Bartók, Webern and Janáček, respectively). After premiering his banjo concerto, The Imposter, with the Nashville Symphony in September of 2011 (he also played it last season with The Cleveland Orchestra), Fleck had the opportunity to record the work for Deutsche Grammophon, but needed something else to fill out the album. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin

FLECK-BelaPrior to the performance of Imposter, Concerto for Banjo and Symphony Orchestra with The Cleveland Orchestra in December of last year, the 15-time Grammy Award-winning banjoist Béla Fleck told us about one of his recent classical compositions. “I’ve already finished my second commission, a 25-minute piece for banjo and string quartet,” Fleck said via e-mail. “The quartet is Brooklyn Rider and they are fantastic!

On Tuesday, November 12 beginning at 7:30 pm in E.J. Thomas Hall, Tuesday Musical presents Béla Fleck & Brooklyn Rider in a concert featuring Fleck’s Night Flight over Water, Quintet for Banjo and String Quartet.The Tuesday Musical performance is the second stop on a 19-city North American tour.

Fans of Béla Fleck already know that from the beginning of his musical career Fleck was experimenting with ways to incorporate the banjo into all styles of music such as bebop and jazz. As a member of Sam Bush’s progressive bluegrass band, New Grass Revival, his blending of rock and country music with bluegrass caught the attention of audiences and critics. Read the rest of this entry »

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