Bela Fleck and Marcus Roberts
Co-Presented by Rialto Theatre
BÉLA FLECK is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. A New York City native, he picked up the banjo at age 15 after being awed by the bluegrass music of Flatt & Scruggs.
While still in high school he began experimenting with playing bebop jazz on his banjo, mentored by fellow banjo renegade Tony Trischka. In 1980, he released his first solo album, Crossing the Tracks, with material that ranged from straight ahead bluegrass to Chick Corea’s “Spain.” In 1982, Fleck joined the progressive bluegrass band New Grass Revival, making a name for himself on countless solo and ensemble projects ever since as a virtuoso instrumentalist. In 1989 he formed the genre-busting Flecktones, with members equally talented and adventurous as himself.
THE MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO, led by Roberts on piano, Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass, are keen torch-holders of the classic jazz tradition. The mix of these four,— Roberts, Fleck, Jordan, Marsalis—create a new way forward in jazz, deeply rooted in the form, while pulling from the extensive backgrounds and music journeys of all the members—creating stellar performances that are exuberant, fresh, soaring, bold, and, of course, eclectic.