Bristol, TN/VA -- It was during soundcheck on Saturday when virtuosic banjoist Bela Fleck and his lovely, and very pregant, wife Abigail Washburn learned their performance at The Paramount Center for the Arts that evening had helped raise more than $50,000 for educational programming at the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum.
With more than a dozen Grammy Awards under his belt (and more nominations in more categories that any other artist) Fleck is without question the most celebrated and technically proficient banjo player living today. Declared “a modern classic” by the Boston Globe, Abigail Washburn is known for her work with the all-female roots band Uncle Earl. It was her interest in Chinese culture that helped inspire Sparrow Quartet, her side project with husband Fleck, renowned violinist Casey Driessen and innovative cellist Ben Sollee.
Amber Rubarth Trio featuring Dave Eggar were the opening act.
"Bela and Abigail thought it was just amazing," says BCM Executive Director Leah Ross, "They were both over the moon. It really meant a lot to them to be part of the effort."
The Blue Stocking Club, Bristol's oldest ladies' charitable organization, hosts fundraisers once every two or three years. This year, the BCM Museum was the chosen as beneficiary, and it was the club's most successful fundraiser to date.
"We are so grateful to the ladies at the Blue Stocking Club for all their hard work," says BCM Board President John Rainero. "The show was a sell-out, and we appreciate all the sponsors and patrons who helped them reach their goal. It's been wonderful to see so much community support for this project."
The Birthplace of Country Music® Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is slated to open in August of 2014.