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Bela Fleck

Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the premiere banjo player in the world. Others claim that Béla has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Béla, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, and put it into unique settings. Born and raised in New York City, Béla began his musical career playing the guitar. In the early 1960's, while watching the Beverly Hillbillies, the bluegrass sounds of Flatt & Scruggs flowed out of the TV set and into his young brain. Earl Scruggs's banjo style hooked Béla's interest immediately

The Ripple Effect

Label: Craft Recordings
Released: 2020
Track listing: Bamako; Nashville; Snug Harbor; Elyne Road; Matitu/Buribalal; Manchester; Throw Down Your Heart; Kauonding Sissoko; Katmandu; Dueling Banjos.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bela Fleck and Toumani Diabate: The Ripple Effect

Read "The Ripple Effect" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Ripple Effect is the coup de grace of Bela Fleck's ten year-plus excursion into the African roots of his chosen instrument of the banjo, originally titled Throw Down Your Heart (Rounder, 2009). Part of a larger set comprised of both video and audio on DVD/CD, The Complete Africa Sessions (Craft Recordings, 2020), these ten concert ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Chick Corea: Mr. Eclectic

Read "Chick Corea: Mr. Eclectic" reviewed by Doug Collette

It's altogether plausible to posit Chick Corea's career as one of, if not the most, colorful in all of contemporary jazz. And that very declaration arrives apart from recognition of the varied shapes and sizes of the groups he dubbed 'Return To Forever.' In recent years, apart from notable collaborations on stage and in the studio ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Laura Jurd: Stepping Back, Jumping In

Read "Stepping Back, Jumping In" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Laura Jurd's Stepping Back, Jumping In was commissioned by the major London music venue, King's Place, as part of its “Venus Unwrapped" series. Jurd debuted her project at the venue on March 1, 2019 followed by St George's Bristol and The Sage, Gateshead on March 4 and 5, 2019 where this album was recorded.

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Then and now with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Then and now with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

This week, let's take a look at some videos of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, who are coming to St. Louis to perform next Thursday, June 27 at Powell Hall. This year's tour marking the band's 30th anniversary is one of their most extensive since original member Howard Levy rejoined in 2009, covering 21 dates this ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings

Read "Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Clarinet, harmonica and saxophonist, composer and bandleader and musical globetrotter Dexter Payne is the type of musician who is most often categorized as “difficult to categorize." Profoundly influenced by physical and spiritual journeys through the cultures of America, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil, Payne's recorded output checks off every box from Mississippi delta blues to ...

Etienne Mbappe: Silky Master of the 4th Dimension

Read "Etienne Mbappe: Silky Master of the 4th Dimension" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Etienne Mbappe plays bass so smoothly that you could imagine he wears silk gloves—and you would be correct. In fact he is the only musician in the world who has an endorsement deal with a silk glove manufacturer. He is a musician's musician, a world class bassist based in Paris. Originally from Cameroon in Western Africa, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Rossetto: Intermodal Blues

Read "Intermodal Blues" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

In search of the roots and the limits of where a banjo comes from and how far the instrument can go, Minneapolis-based Michael Rossetto makes a journey from cinematic soundscapes to traditional western folklore with a jazzy spin to it. On Intermodal Blues Michael Rossetto is joined by upright bassist Chris Bates and drummer ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Charu Suri

Read "Take Five with Charu Suri" reviewed by Charu Suri

About Charu Suri Born in South India, Charu Suri started playing the piano at the age of five, and also studied the veena as well as Carnatic music (vocals). A concert pianist since the age of nine, Suri has performed in several venues in India, including Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, as well as in ...


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