Béla Fleck & Chris Thile
“Béla is a continuous fountain of creativity.”
— Chick Corea
(Chris Thile is) “The most remarkable mandolinist in the world.”
— The London Independent
Most everyone agrees – Béla Fleck is the premiere five-string banjo player in the world. London’s Independent called Chris Thile; “the most remarkable mandolinist in the world.” Both men consistently enter uncharted territory armed with genre-shattering, jaw-dropping technical mastery delivered with deep emotion and joyful spirit. Once anyone gets this good at anything, it’s no longer about who is the best – you just pay attention and listen.
Béla Anton Leoš Fleck is named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartok, Austrian composer Anton Webern, and Czech composer Leoš Janáček. One would assume him destined to the rigors of Western classical music, but that tradition has never really welcomed the banjo into the fold. Enter Béla Fleck. His ground breaking classical Perpetual Motion recording won a pair of Grammys, and his banjo concerto, self-depreciatingly entitled The Imposter, has been celebrated world-wide as a major triumph for the banjo.
Béla Fleck: “Big Country,” Transatlantic Sessions 5:
Béla works in intriguing combinations such as fronting full symphony orchestras, dueting with Chick Corea or Abigail Washburn, appearing as a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer, jazz collaborations with The Marcus Roberts Trio, playing whatever suits him with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, touring with African artists such as Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate, jamming in bluegrass supergroups with old friends and rare solo concerts. His earlier years with the New Grass Revival and Strength in Numbers remain legendary. Béla Flecks’ total Grammy count thus far is 15 Grammys won, and 30 nominations. He’s been nominated in more different musical categories than anyone in Grammy history. His contributions to the bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock and world beat communities reveal Bela Fleck to be an unstoppable creative force.
Multiple Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile, a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist. With his broad outlook that encompasses classical, rock, jazz, and bluegrass, Thile transcends the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres, creating a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike.
A child prodigy, Thile first rose to fame as a member of Grammy Award-winning trio Nickel Creek, with whom he released three albums and sold over two million records. In 2014, along with a national tour, the trio released a new album, “A Dotted Line”, their first since 2005.
As a soloist Thile has released five albums including his most recent, Bach: Partitas and Sonatas, Vol.1, which was produced by renowned bassist Edgar Meyer. In February 2013 Thile won a Grammy for his work on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan. Then, in September 2014, Thile and Meyer released their latest album collaboration, Bass + Mandolin, which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. Punch Brothers released their latest album, The Phosphorescent Blues, in January 2015.
Chris Thile & the Punch Bros., Magnet:
In 2016, Chris Thile will follow the inestimable Garrison Keillor as weekly host for the nationally syndicated radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. Be sure not to miss Fleck & Thile’s Grey Fox sets when they make musical history together.