Grammy Award winning banjo virtuosos Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn will perform at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) for the first time, on Wednesday 8 March 2023, as part of a national tour.
Béla Fleck is a sixteen-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-radicalised the banjo by combining it with Far East culture and sounds.
The iconic duo known as “the king and queen of the banjo” (Paste Magazine), met at a square dance, began collaborating musically and eventually fell in love. Over the years, they played together most notably in the Sparrow Quartet alongside Ben Sollee and Casey Driessen, in addition to performing solo shows. In 2013 the pair began a steady tour schedule together.
Fleck has the virtuosic, jazz-to-classical ingenuity of an iconic instrumentalist and composer with bluegrass roots. His collaborations range from his most recent release and celebrated return to bluegrass, My Bluegrass Heart, to his ground-breaking standard-setting ensemble Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, featuring a staggeringly broad array of musical experiments. From writing concertos for full symphony orchestra, exploring the banjo’s African roots, to jazz duos with Chick Corea, Béla Fleck is often touted as the world’s premier banjo player.
Washburn has the earthy sophistication of a postmodern, old-time singer-songwriter who has drawn critical acclaim for her solo albums. She has undertaken work in folk musical diplomacy in China, presented an original theatrical production, and has contributed to singular side groups Uncle Earl and The Wu-Force. In addition to being named a TED Fellow in 2012, Washburn was recently named the first US-China Fellow at Vanderbilt University, and a Carolina Performing Arts/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s DisTil Fellow for 2018-2020.
On stage, Fleck and Washburn perform pieces from their Grammy-winning self-titled debut record (2016) alongside works from Echo in the Valley (2017). Their performances showcase America’s rich banjo heritage through to music that feels wildly innovative and familiar at the same time.
The artists’ deep bond, combined with the way their distinct musical personalities and banjo styles interact, makes theirs a pickin’ partnership unlike any other on the planet.
Don’t miss experiencing Grammy Award®-winning banjo virtuosos Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s QPAC debut for one night only in QPAC’s Concert Hall on Wednesday 8 March 2023.
Tickets and more information available from QPAC’s website.