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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bela Fleck & the African Roots of the Banjo

FOR more than 30 years, the banjoist Béla Fleck has been pushing the boundaries of his instrument. Driven by a need to burnish the banjo’s backwoods image, he has sought out collaborators all over the musical map.

“The banjo has been a much maligned instrument, so I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I want to prove it’s more than people think it is.”

Mr. Fleck’s evangelism has led him into territory largely uncharted for the banjo, from the Baroque to bebop. Lately, he has delved deeply into the banjo’s African roots, an exploration that he will bring to the Caramoor International Music Festival, in Katonah, on July 3. He plans to explore Indian music next.

link: A Virtuoso of the Banjo Explores Its Roots in African Music -


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