The Great Falls Symphony, on Saturday, November 9 at 7:30pm, is bringing in world-famous banjoist Béla Fleck to perform his second banjo concerto, Juno. One of the greatest banjoists alive, he constantly pushes the limits of what the instrument can do, and that mastery will be on full display. The all-American program will also include Aaron Copland's cowboy ballet Billy the Kid. For tickets, contact the Mansfield box office at 406-455-8514, or visit gfsymphony.org/americana.
Béla Fleck has taken a circuitous route to his foray into the classical field of music. A powerful creative force in bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock, and world music, Fleck premiered The Juno Concerto with the Canton Symphony Orchestra in 2016. Named for his young son, the concerto has received rave reviews. “...the interplay between banjo and orchestra— alternating at times, converging at others—falls into a groove that makes this unusual alignment feel perfectly natural,” said relix.com reviewer Jeff Tamarkin. “...you’ll be wondering why banjos and orchestras aren’t sharing stages all the time.” Raised in New York City, Fleck first heard the sounds of bluegrass as a young boy. “It was like sparks going off in my head,” said Fleck, who could only dream of what was to come.
Fleck played banjo on Before These Crowded Streets by the Dave Matthews Band, including the album's debut single "Don't Drink the Water".
In 2001, he collaborated with Edgar Meyer on Perpetual Motion, an album of classical music played on the banjo. They were accompanied by John Williams, Evelyn Glennie, Joshua Bell, and Gary Hoffman.
Fleck has been featured on Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Saturday Night Live, Sesame Street, Austin City Limits, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
He has also appeared at several music festivals throughout his career, including the High Sierra Music Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and Rochester International Jazz Festival.
Béla Fleck has been nominated for Grammy Awards 36 times and in more categories than another other musician, namely country, pop, jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, spoken word, composition, and arranging. He has won 14 Grammy Awards.
Single admission tickets for Saturday’s concert are available at the Civic Center Mansfield Box Office at 2 Park Drive South, Great Falls, by phone at 406.455.8514 (open Monday-Friday 11:00 am to 4:30 pm), or online 24-hours at www.gfsymphony.org/americana. Single tickets are $50-$55 for adults, $15 for students 20 and under. On the day of the concert, the box office in the theater lobby will open at 6:00 pm for ticket sales. For more information, contact the Great Falls Symphony at 406.453.4102 or at www.gfsymphony.org/americana.
This concert is made possible, in part, by the generous concert sponsorship provided by US Bank and First Interstate Bank.
The Great Falls Symphony season is sponsored by D | A | Davidson Companies. Thank you for your support!