Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Groundbreaking, Grammy-winning quartet Béla Fleck & The Flecktones celebrate their 30th anniversary with a North American tour whose final stop is at Cain Park!
Banjoist Béla Fleck, harmonica and keyboardist Howard Levy, bassist Victor Wooten and percussionist / drumitarist Roy “Future Man” Wooten have been creating some of the most forward-thinking music during their long, storied career. While all types of genres come into play – from classical and jazz to bluegrass and African music to electric blues and Eastern European folk dances – the result is an impossible-to-pigeonhole sound all their own, a meeting of musical minds that remains, as ever, utterly indescribable. Simply put, it is The Flecktones: music made only when these four individuals come together.
Fleck first united the Flecktones in 1988, ostensibly for a single performance on PBS’ Lonesome Pine Special. From the start, there was a special kinship between the four musicians, a bond forged in a mutual passion for creativity and artistic advancement. Three breakthrough albums and a whole lot of live dates followed before Levy decided to move on in late 1992.
Each member had been quite busy with a variety of successful projects – including: Bela’s duet collaborations with Chick Corea, a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer (sometimes with the Detroit Symphony) and his expansive adventures in African music, documented in the acclaimed 2009 film and CD, Throw Down Your Heart. Victor’s solo band tours, camps, recording sessions, clinics and CD releases (including an incredible collaborative project with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller called SMV, which yielded the album "Thunder"), and Future Man’s creation of his amazing Black Mozart project, and continued development of new instruments.
“There’s a special thing that happens when the four of us get together and play,” notes Levy. “We all have the same attitude of trying to do things that we haven’t done before and coincidentally, no one else has either.” One thing was certain, however. The "original" Flecktones were resolute that their reunion would not be rooted in nostalgia. The goal from the get-go was to drive the music forward to places where it might have progressed had things gone differently.