Fleck was named after three composers and it’s no wonder this kid grew up to be one of the most distinguished musicians of his time. Fleck picked up the banjo in 1973 when he received one from his grandfather. He studied French horn during his high school and started learning banjo under Tony Trischka. After graduating high school, he played in Boston with Tasty Licks. His interest in progressive bluegrass compositions resulted in his first album “Crossing the Tracks,” which came out in 1979. Along with Mark Schatz, the bassist of Tasty Licks, he also played on the streets of Boston for a while.
In 1981, they met Glen Lawson and Jimmy Gaudreau and the four formed a group named Spectrum. The same year, Fleck got an invitation from Sam Bush of New Grass Revival to join the group. He stayed with them for nine years. During the last years of his stay, he and Bush performed live with Merle Watson and Doc Watson at various bluegrass festivals including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
Before he left New Grass Revival, Fleck had released four more solo albums, of which the last one was Drive, which was reissued in 2004. The album earned Fleck his first Grammy Award nomination for any of his solo work. He had previously earned two Grammy nominations for his work with New Grass Revival. After leaving New Grass Revival, Fleck formed Bela Fleck and the Fleckstones along with Victor Wooten. The band debuted in 1990 with the release of their self-titled album. Their first album to reach number one on the Billboard was “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo.”
The band released “Outbound” which won them their first Grammy Award in 2000. Before going on an indefinite hiatus in 2012, Coffin left and the band decided to bring Levy back to complete their original lineup. Levy came back in 2011 and the band released their latest album “Rocket Science,” which received rave reviews. Along with Bela Fleck and the Fleckstones, Fleck continued collaborations and solo work. It’s interesting to note that he has been nominated for Grammy Awards in a wide array of categories that range from pop and jazz to country and classical.
Fleck has collaborated with the likes of Edgar Meyer, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Alison Brown and many more. With Meyer, he recorded “Perpetual Motion” which won two Grammy Awards in 2002. In his three-decade long career, he has been nominated for a total of thirty Grammy Awards out of which he has won fifteen. He has made appearances on many notable festivals, done charity shows and has taken the stage for live performances at many prestigious venues across the world.
Since the beginning of his career, Fleck has created a buzz among bluegrass fans with his innovative banjo playing. His live concerts are an absolute treat and now you have a chance to be a part of one. All you have to do is get Bela Fleck tickets.