Two of the world's premier banjo players will perform on Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Northshore United Church of Christ.
Bela Fleck, leader of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, will give a rare solo performance, playing banjo with Tony Trischka, his former teacher and mentor.
Both musicians have gained worldwide prominence for their virtuosic playing. The evening will showcase the wide-ranging abilities of the artists. This is their first West Coast appearance.
Fleck grew up in New York City and started playing the banjo as a teenager. At 16, he began taking lessons from the premier modern banjoist of the time, Tony Trischka, still considered by Fleck a major influence and a cornerstone of his playing.
Fleck graduated from New York City's High School of Music and Art. Though he presently plays jazz, Fleck began his 20-year career playing bluegrass with the groups Tasty Licks and Spectrum. In the eighties, he joined the group New Grass Revival, where he created a new brand of bluegrass called "newgrass." Fleck was voted best banjoist in Frets Magazine for five years in a row, and was "retired" to the Gallery of Greats.
In 1990, Fleck left New Grass Revival to form Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, featuring Fleck's distinctly original music. The group has earned three Grammy nominations in their four album releases. The latest release in "Tales from the Acoustic Planet" on Warner Brothers Records.
Trischka grew up in Syracuse, N.Y. and also started playing banjo as a teenager. His musical interests and abilities are eclectic.
Though he is known for his strikingly original playing and technical talent, he remains grounded in the basic banjo styles of Scruggs, melodic, and single string. Billboard Magazine says Trischka is "one of the most inventive banjoists alive."
Trischka conducts workshops, composes, and teaches private lessons, as well as studying banjo history from its African roots. His latest release is "Glory Shone Round: A Christmas Collection" on Rounder.
In 1992, Fleck and Trischka released "Solo Banjo Works" on Rounder Records. Since then, they have performed together once or twice a year.