Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn arent just virtuoso banjo players – they’re also husband and wife. Together, Fleck and Washburn employ the relatively rare 3-finger and clawhammer banjo duet to create an explosion of musical white heat. Add in Washburn’s voice and you have a night of musical magic waiting for you at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Friday, October 24.
These two banjoists have mastered the deceptively intricate art of the duet. Their performances embrace a diversity almost unthinkable – coming from just two banjos and one voice. Washburn’s beguiling composing, playing and singing blend with Fleck’s riveting and virtuosic musicianship to create music both unique yet familiar in texture.
Fleck is a 15-time Grammy winner who has collaborated with Chick Corea, Oumou Sangare, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, Dave Mathews, Earl Scruggs, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for his Banjo Concert ‘The Impostor’. Washburn’s banjo has taken her far beyond the usual old-timey comfort zone, musically and geographically. An alumnus of Uncle Earl, the powerhouse all-female stringband, Abby’s adopted second homeland is China, and her music resounds with echoes of Appalachia and the tidal wave of emerging Chinese cultural influence.
Tickets are $25-42 and can be purchased at the box office or online.
Listen to Fleck and Washburn on NPR discuss finally teaming up together, and watch Washburn’s TED Talk below.