Since the age of 15 when he heard "Dueling Banjos"
by Weissberg & Mandell, and Flatt & Scruggs' "Ballad of Jed Clampett," Bela Fleck has developed into one of the world's
most talented and creative banjo pickers. Named after composer Bela
Bartok, Fleck's versatile repertoire includes old time bluegrass,
R&B, bebop, and progressive jazz.
This New York City native's broad musical interests
were fostered at the High School of Music and Arts in New York. His
eclectic musical influences include Chick Corea, Little Feat, Charlie
Parker, Earl Scruggs, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, the
Allman Brothers, Tony Trischka, and the Byrds.
Upon graduation, he headed to Boston to join a group
called The Tasty Licks, which recorded two albums then split in 1979.
Fleck moved on to join the Kentucky Band Spectrum, and shortly after
recorded his first solo album, "Crossing the
album won notice when Frets magazine named it "Best Overall
Fleck's popularity gained momentum when he joined
the New Grass Revival in 1982, and he was nominated for a Grammy award
in 1988 for his song "Drive." Frets magazine inducted him into
their Hall of Greats in 1990, further validating his success. In 1989,
Fleck and several talented acquaintances (Sam Bush on mandolin, Mark O'Connor
with his fiddle, Edgar Meyer on bass, and Jerry Douglas playing the dobro) formed the group Strength In Numbers, out of which was produced
PBS television invited Bela Fleck to share
his music on their 1992 Lonesome Pine Special. He agreed and appeared
with several well-known musicians, including Howard Levy on piano,
harmonica, ocarina, and other instruments; Victor Lemonte Wooten on
bass guitar; and Victor's brother Roy "Futureman" Wooten, who
played the drumitar. They called themselves the Flecktones, and
released their self-titled debut album in 1990. Immediately after,
they released "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo" in 1991.
Two years later came "UFO
Tofu," an album
that blended bluegrass, worldbeat, R&B, and other musical flavors.
Later albums include "Tales from an Acoustic
Art," and "Three Flew Over the Cuckoo's
Notable songs include -- .
- Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
- Water Gardens
- Way of Love
- Backwoods Galaxy
- Yee-Haw Factor
- Sunset Road
- Sinister Minister
- Turtle Rock
- Earl in Shanghai
Bela Fleck and The Flecktones may be available for your next special event!
..70s, ..80s, ..90s, ..00s
Born: ..in New York
..in New York City
Jul 10, 1958
Based: ..in Colorado