onStage at Connecticut College presents Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

Béla Fleck, the world’s foremost banjo player, will make his first appearance on campus Saturday, Oct. 10, when he kicks off the 2015-16 season of onStage at Connecticut College. Fleck will be joined by his wife Abigail Washburn, another banjo virtuoso, for an evening of intricate duets. The concert is at 8 p.m. in Palmer Auditorium.

Fleck has won 15 Grammy Awards during the course of his remarkable performing and recording career, which has taken him all over the musical map. In fact, he has been nominated in more Grammy categories than any other musician: country, pop, jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, spoken word, composition and arranging.

Washburn is a singer/songwriter who wields a distinctive clawhammer playing style to create seductive, soulful music. Her playing and singing blend with Fleck’s riveting and virtuosic musicianship to create a rare blend of jazz, bluegrass and rock, sounds both unique and familiar in texture.

“Not only are they both supremely talented musicians, but they have both explored other cultures through the banjo,” said Robert Richter ’82, the College’s director of arts programming. “Béla Fleck has performed and recorded in Africa, from where the banjo evolved. And Abigail Washburn has deep connections to China, where she regularly performs. She even delivered a TED talk on fostering U.S.-China relations through music. I thought this was a perfect match for a liberal arts institution like Connecticut College, because there is such strong interest here in expanding our worldview.

“Besides,” he added, “they just play great music.”

Tickets are $28, $25 for seniors and $14 for students. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 860-439-ARTS (2787) or via email to onstage@conncoll.edu.



October 1, 2015