The Colorado Symphony just announced its latest collaboration with a contemporary artist at Red Rocks: The orchestra will be joined by Béla Fleck, the sixteen-time Grammy winner who has spent four decades playing his banjo, merging jazz, country, classical, pop and bluegrass traditions from around the world.
Fleck, who first heard the banjo while watching The Beverly Hillbillies, started playing at fifteen. He grew up with classical music but never studied it formally.
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"My classical background is mostly absorbed, and very unstudied — at least in classical terms," he told Westword's Nick Hutchinson in April. "My stepfather, Joe, played the cello, and there was classical music in my high school, so I did hear it organically. But there was no place for a banjo player to learn this music, so I had to figure it out one note at a time."
At the Red Rocks concert, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, Fleck will perform solo with the Colorado Symphony as well as with his band the Flecktones; Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and Abigail Washburn will also play.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, December 14, at AXS or by phone at 888-929-7849.