Acclaimed banjo duo Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, called “the king and queen of the banjo” by Paste Magazine, will perform on centerstage at the ECC Arts Center on Thursday, Feb. 6., at 7:30 p.m.
Fleck is a fifteen-time Grammy® Award-winner who has transported the banjo across multiple genres. His collaborations include the ground-breaking ensemble Béla Fleck and the Flecktones as well as jazz duos with Chick Corea. Washburn is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and clawhammer banjo player known for her daring musicality and signature songwriting that blends folk music with the music of East Asia.
The two met at a square dance, began collaborating musically, and eventually fell in love. Together, these married master players have a musical partnership like no other. Over the years, they’ve played together in the Sparrow Quartet, popped up in each other’s solo shows, and now as a duo.
On stage, Fleck and Washburn will perform pieces from their Grammy®-winning self-titled debut as well as their 2017 follow up album, “Echo in the Valley.” For that album, the duo had strict recording rules: all sounds were created by the two of them, the only instruments used were banjos (they have seven between them, ranging from a ukulele banjo to an upright bass banjo), and they had to be able to perform every recorded song live. With one eye on using the banjo to showcase America’s rich heritage and the other pulling the instrument from its most familiar arena into new and unique realms, Fleck and Washburn meet in the mean, head-on, to present music that feels wildly innovative and familiar at the same time.
Tickets to Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn are $53-$57. Tickets are available online at tickets.elgin.edu and by phone at 847-622-0300. The ECC Arts Center is located in Building H at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. The Arts Center can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/eccartscenter and Twitter @eccartscenter.