Béla Fleck


Béla was born on July 10,1958 and raised in New York City. While watching The Beverly Hillbillies as a young boy, the bluegrass sounds of Flatt & Scruggs flowed out of the TV set and into his young brain. Earl Scruggs’s banjo style hooked Béla’s interest immediately. “It was like sparks going off in my head,” he later said.

The banjo didn’t become a full time passion until ’73, when his grandfather coincidentally bought him one. That week, Béla entered New York City’s, High School of Music and Art. He began studies on the French horn but was soon demoted to the chorus, due to his lack of musical aptitude. Since the banjo wasn’t an offered elective at Music and Art, Béla sought lessons through outside sources: Erik Darling, Marc Horowitz, and Tony Trischka stepped up and filled the job.

During this period, Béla played in his first bands: Brownstone Holler and Wicker’s Creek. Living in NYC, Béla was exposed to a wide variety of musical experiences. One of the most impressive was a concert by Return to Forever, featuring Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. This concert encouraged further experimenting with rock and jazz on the banjo, signs of things to come.In 1976, he started his professional career, playing with Boston-based Tasty Licks. More about Béla Fleck...

Bio source “Béla Fleck.” www.belafleck.com/about. Accessed August 01, 2018.

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