Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer
Three masterful genre-benders and the leading virtuosos on their respective instruments, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer move with ease among the worlds of classical, bluegrass and world music. In the 2009-2010 season, they join together for the first time in trio concerts of original music. Three of the most limitless creators and composers in the history of music, Fleck, Hussain and Meyer share an unprecedented array of projects and pairings among them that touch every geographical and stylistic corner of the musical world. The trio will also release a recording in Fall 2009 featuring music performed on the tour alongside their innovative Triple Concerto for Banjo, Double Bass and Tabla.
BÉLA FLECK has been called the premiere banjo player in the world and has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map. At home equally in the great classical halls and concert arenas of the world, Béla has won eleven Grammy Awards and has been nominated in more different categories than anyone in Grammy history.
Béla was invited to join the progressive bluegrass band New Grass Revival, which took bluegrass music to new limits, exciting audiences and critics alike. Through the course of five albums, they charted new territory with their blend of bluegrass, rock and country music. During the 9 years Béla spent with NGR he continued to record a series of solo albums, including the ground breaking 1988 album “Drive”. He also collaborated with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer and Mark O’Connor in an acoustic super group called Strength in Numbers. The MCA release, “The Telluride Sessions”, is also considered an evolutionary statement by the acoustic music community.
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones released their first, self-titled album in 1990, dubbed a”blu-bop” mix of jazz and bluegrass, and soon became a commercially successful disc. The album was Grammy nominated, and their second recording “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo” followed suit. Famed for a non-stop touring schedule, the Flecktones have reached more than 500,000 audience members yearly from 2001 on. Still releasing albums and touring, the Tones have garnered a strong and faithful following among jazz and new acoustic fans. They have shared the stage with Dave Mathews Band, Sting, Bonnie Raitt and the Grateful Dead, among many others, made several appearances on The Tonight Show in the Johnny Carson days and the Jay Leno days, as well as Arsenio Hall, and Conan O’Brian.
In 2006 the band released The Hidden Land, which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2007. In 2008, Jingle All The Way, the band’s holiday album was released, and in 2009 it was voted best Pop Instrumental Album at the Grammies.
Already a powerfully creative force in bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock and world beat, Béla at last made the classical connection with “Perpetual Motion”, his critically acclaimed 2001 Sony Classical recording that went on to win a pair of Grammys, including Best Classical Crossover Album, in the 44th annual Grammy Awards.
ZAKIR HUSSAIN is today appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have not only established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, but earned him worldwide fame. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations.
Zakir Hussain is considered one of the greatest musicians of our time. Along with his legendary father and teacher, Ustad Allarakha, he has elevated the status of his instrument, the tabla, both in India and around the world. A favorite accompanist for India’s leading classical musicians and dancers, Zakir is also widely recognized as a chief architect of the world music movement with his many historic collaborations, including Shakti, Remember Shakti, Diga, Planet Drum and his ever-changing moveable feast, Masters of Percussion.
A child prodigy, Zakir began touring at the age of twelve, becoming the most acclaimed Indian musician of his generation and one of the world’s leading percussionists. He is the recipient of many honors, including a recent Grammy® in the Best Contemporary World Music category for Global Drum Projectwith Mickey Hart, Giovanni Hidalgo and Sikiru Adepoju, Padma Bhushan from the government of India in 2002, and the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship, the United States’ most prestigious honor for a master in traditional arts. In 1992, Planet Drum, an album co-created and co-produced by Zakir, became the first recording to win a Grammy® in the Best World Music category and also won the Downbeat Critics’ Poll for Best World Beat Album. Both Modern Drummer and Drum! magazines named him Best World Music and Best Worldbeat Drummer respectively in 2007. He has contributed to innumerable recordings and has received widespread recognition as a composer for his many projects, scores and soundtracks including Little Buddha, In Custody, Vanaprastham, Mystic Masseur, Mr & Mrs. Iyer and YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Project.
EDGAR MEYER is prominently established as a unique and masterful instrumentalist and has an active career as both a performer and a composer. Hailed by the New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument,” Mr. Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, varied audience.
As a soloist, Mr. Meyer has released a concerto album with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra featuring Bottesini’s Gran Duo with Joshua Bell, Meyer’s Double Concerto for Bass and Cello with Yo-Yo Ma, Bottesini’s Bass Concerto No. 2, and Meyer’s Concerto in D for Bass. In 2006, he released a self-titled solo recording on which he wrote and played all of the pieces, incorporating seven varied instruments.His newest recording, a CD and DVD of original material with mandolinist Chris Thile, was released on Nonesuch in Fall 2008.
As a composer, Mr. Meyer has carved out a remarkable and unique niche. In the 2006-2007 season, he premiered a piece for double bass and piano that he performed with Emanuel Ax. Mr. Meyer has performed with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, featuring the premiere of one of his own works, the Meyer Double Concerto for Bass and Cello with Yo-Yo Ma. In October 1999, Mr. Meyer’s violin concerto, written for violinist Hilary Hahn, was premiered and recorded by Ms. Hahn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra led by Hugh Wolff.
Collaborations are a central part of Mr. Meyer’s work. His widely-acclaimed performing and recording projects include a duo with Chris Thile; a duo with Béla Fleck; a quartet with Joshua Bell, Sam Bush and Mike Marshall; a trio with Béla Fleck and Mike Marshall; and a trio with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O’Connor.The latter trio collaborated for Appalachia Waltz in 1996 and its Grammy® Award-winning follow-upAppalachian Journey in March 2000.