Béla Fleck and the Flecktones
From bluegrass and classical music to funk, fusion and jazz, banjo player Béla Fleck can do it all. After breaking into the scene in the early ’80s as a member of Sam Bush’s progressive bluegrass outfit the New Grass Revival, Fleck quickly became known as a premier instrumentalist. By crossing genres with little regard for the arbitrary boundaries of style, Fleck has been able to break free of the stifling confines that have kept the banjo relegated to the back hollers and hootenannies of rural America. In 1989, Fleck assembled his own crew, the Flecktones, to take his unique vision of jazz fusion to the furthest reaches of the musical spectrum. With bassist Victor Wooten, saxophonist Jeff Coffin and percussionist Future Man, Fleck has not only found a home among jazz buffs and funk fans but also has been happily adopted by the gleeful free spirits of the jam-band set. Although Fleck’s talent on the banjo remains undeniable, his greatest gift remains his seemingly inexhaustible ability to innovate and evolve.