Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Germantown Performing Arts Center | Duncan-Williams Performance Hall
1801 Exeter Road
Germantown, TN 38138
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, “the king and queen of the banjo” (Paste Magazine), have a musical partnership like no other. Béla Fleck is a fifteen-time Grammy Award winner who has taken the banjo across multiple genres, and Abigail Washburn is a singer-songwriter and clawhammer banjo player who re-radicalized the instrument by combining it with Far East culture and sounds. The two met at a square dance, began collaborating musically, and eventually fell in love. Over the years, they played together most visibly in the Sparrow Quartet alongside Ben Sollee and Casey Driessen and informally at a pickin’ party here or a benefit there, also occasionally popping up in each other’s solo shows. Fans of tradition-tweaking acoustic fare eagerly anticipated that Béla & Abigail would begin making music together as a duo.
On stage, Fleck & Washburn will perform pieces from their Grammy-winning self-titled debut as well as their new record, Echo in the Valley (Rounder 2017). With one eye on using the banjo to showcase America’s rich heritage and the other on pulling the noble instrument from its most familiar arena into new and unique realms, Béla & Abigail meet in the middle, head-on, to present music that feels wildly innovative and familiar at the same time. Whether at home, on stage, or on record, their deep bond, combined with the way their distinct musical personalities and banjo styles interact, makes theirs a picking partnership unlike any other on the planet.