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An Evening at Bela Fleck's Place...

Posted by myork1 on Sunday, June 14, 2009

 Tonight I met Bela Fleck...Banjo Maestro and Nice Guy.

In an intimate setting at our Neighborhood Theater that felt more like Bela had invited a few of us over to meet his friend,Toumani Diabate (who plays an "African banjo/guitar/bass/harp" called a Kora). It was my daughter's first time to see one of my Banjo Heroes and our seats were practically onstage, maybe 20 feet away. There were no Flecktones, no big sweeping renditions of Big Country or Hoedown, not even any vocals, and Bela spoke sparingly throughout the 2 sets. Just pure sweet string music from Bela and Toumani aptly described as another "Tale from the Acoustic Planet."

Getting to meet Bela after the show was pretty incredible and he seemed genuinely grateful that all these people had just "dropped by" for the evening. I asked him about his big arena shows coming up later this year with the Flecktones and told him I hoped to catch one of those (he's in Columbia, SC in November). As for tonight a great "Banjo Day" with my daughter(who loved the show) and Bela. Very cool. We even got a few pix (see the Bela photo album).


4 comments on “An Evening at Bela Fleck's Place...”

NMD Says:
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @7:49:04 AM

You lucky guy.  I'm sure it was a fine show and getting to see it up close would have made it that much more special. 

I saw Bela and Toumani Diabate at the Winnipeg Folk Festival about 2 years ago.  Toumani had about a half dozen other African instrumentalists with him that day too.  It was the first time Bela and he played together, although Bela had known about Toumani before.  So it was basically a 1 hour improvised jam . .  and it was amazing. 

myork1 Says:
Monday, June 15, 2009 @6:31:02 AM


I felt lucky...had been looking forward to it for a long time. Bela said it was the first show they'd done together in 6 weeks so we definitely got to see some uh, "improvising." Including the encore DUELING BANJOS...their version. Getting to meet Bela was the highlite of a great night...and having my daughter there made it even better. Hey I see where you're coming to TN for a camp. I was born in TN and have a house there south of Nashville so I'm there a couple times a month usually. Definitely "banjo country." Hope you have a blast at the camp.

Retropicker Says:
Monday, June 15, 2009 @8:22:42 AM

Very cool, Michael. I love those small venues.

NMD Says:
Monday, June 15, 2009 @8:39:13 AM

Hey Michael, thanks for the kind wishes.  The camp is in Maryville.  I'm looking forward to it.

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