by Daniel Hathaway
Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and the plucky young string quartet called Brooklyn Rider (Johnny Gandelsman & Colin Jacobsen, violins, Nicholas Cords, viola, and Eric Jacobsen, cello) launched their current, multi-city tour on Tuesday evening, November 12 at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron under the auspices of the Tuesday Musical Association, who had earlier sponsored Brooklyn Rider on its Fuze! series at the Akron Art Museum.
Béla Fleck has long been known for his experiments in bringing the voice of the banjo into jazz, rock and other genres of music. The impetus for connecting these five outstanding musicians came directly from Fleck’s initial foray into classical composition (it was in the stars apparently, since his parents named him Béla Anton Leoš— after Bartók, Webern and Janáček, respectively). After premiering his banjo concerto, The Imposter, with the Nashville Symphony in September of 2011 (he also played it last season with The Cleveland Orchestra), Fleck had the opportunity to record the work for Deutsche Grammophon, but needed something else to fill out the album. [Read more…]