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Béla Fleck Presents Inaugural Blue Ridge Banjo Camp

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Blue Ridge Banjo CampBrevard, NC -- Béla Fleck presents the inaugural Blue Ridge Banjo Camp to be held at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC on August 15-19, 2018. The camp will feature 3 days and 4 four nights of diverse banjo instruction by Béla himself alongside a cast of world class banjo players/instructors. The week will culminate with a finale concert held in the beautiful Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium. The instructional focus will be on the three distinct styles of three-finger banjo playing: Scruggs, melodic, and single string. The Blue Ridge Banjo Camp will provide banjo players with the tools to improve their playing and aims to contribute to the overall growth of the fine art of the 5-String banjo.

Béla Fleck says, “I’ve loved the banjo and the community that Surrounds it ever since i first heard it, and started learning to play. The Blue Ridge Banjo Camp is my chance to put together an amazing team of 3 finger banjoist/teachers, to pass along what we’ve each been learning, over the years. I’m looking forward to expanding the teaching side of what I do, and thankful to have an amazing venue in which we can share our love, fascination, And curiosity about music and the 5 string banjo.”

The instructors for this inaugural event include:

Béla Fleck - Curator
Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the world’s premier banjo player. Others claim that Béla 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 and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Béla, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, and put it into unique settings.
The 15-time Grammy Award winner has been nominated in more categories than any other instrumentalist in Grammy history, and remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat. Most recently, Béla and his wife Abigail Washburn took home the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. Echo In The Valley is their newest release.
These days, Fleck bounces between various intriguing touring situations: he performs his banjo concertos with symphony orchestras worldwide, collaborates in a duo with Chick Coreaand a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer. He performs in concert with the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, in banjo duet with Abigail Washburn, banjo and mandolin duet with Chris Thile, and occasionally back to bluegrass with his old friends Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and others. He has collaborated with African artists such as Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate, in a jazz setting with The Marcus Roberts Trio, and don’t forget - with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, who continue to perform together 25 years after the band’s inception. Béla has recently accepted a commission to create his third concerto, which will premiere in 2018
In the mid 1980’s Béla released Banjo Picking Styles, a series of 6 tapes and a video which contained the essential building blocks of his style up to that date. Since then, he’s been very busy learning, composing and performing; he had literally has had no time to build a teaching component into his career.
With Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, his intention is to address that, and begin to teach the things that he has learned, while also creating a meeting place for banjoists to share ideas, and their love of the banjo.
Tony Trischka - Instructor
Tony Trischka is one of the most influential banjo players in the roots music world. In his 45 years as a professional musician, his stylings have inspired generations of bluegrass and acoustic players.
He’s been nominated twice for a Grammy award, at both the 40th and 50th annual Grammy ceremonies.
He won three awards at the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association gathering, including Recorded Event of the Year and Banjo Player of the Year.
In 2009, his albumTerritory (Smithsonian Folkways) was named Best Americana Album at the Independent Music Awards.
Tony produced Steve Martin’s 2011, Grammy nominated Rare Bird Alert (Rounder), featuring performances by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.
Tony was the musical director and associate producer of the 2011 documentary Give Me the Banjo, which aired on PBS.
As one of the instrument’s top teachers he has created numerous instructional books, DVDs, CDs and the groundbreaking Tony Trischka School of Banjo that is the online banjo home for students from around the world.
In 2012, Tony became a United States Artists Friends Fellow in recognition of the excellence of his work in 2017 he was inducted into the American Banjo Museum’s Hall of Fame.
Kristin Scott Benson - Instructor
Kristin Scott Benson is the four-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year ( Since 2008, she has been a member of Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals (, making an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry.
Kristin has attained a national identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players on the scene, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers.
Many consider her to be one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band:
“There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is. Almost two years ago, she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has taken it before.”
~ Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010
Kristin’s latest solo album, entitled Stringworks, on Mountain Home Records, was released in July of 2016. It debuted in the top-ten on Billboard’s Bluegrass album chart and the self-penned opening track, Great Waterton, was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year. The record is a mixture of styles, reflecting her tastes, and features original and traditional instrumentals, as well as vocal songs, all showcasing her banjo playing.
She has been featured on The Grascals’ albums since 2008, including the latest release, And Then, There’s This. This album has enjoyed more chart success than any other, having spent eight of its first 12 months at #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited album chart. As part of the Grascals, Kristin’s media performances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk, among others. The band has also performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as accumulating nearly 200 performances on The Grand Ole Opry.
Kristin plays a 1933 Gibson TB-3 banjo. She endorses GHS Strings, Blue Chip picks, Takamine guitars, Doc Fossey Guitars, Fishman pickups and Robin Smith at Heartland Guitar and Banjo.
Mike Munford - Instructor
Mike is one of the hidden treasures of the five string banjo world. Mike grew up in the sixties and seventies in the bluegrass hotbed of Baltimore and D.C. and assimilated just about everything that all the great players in that area could offer but long ago developed his own style. His style can best be described as hard-driving melodic but such a description diminishes what’s actually going on. When Mike Munford plays you hear all things that great banjo player strive to achieve: power, drive, impeccable timing, exquisite tone and jaw-dropping technique. Mike is a walking encyclopedia of banjo trivia. He is an inspiration to countless players in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
Born in St. Louis and raised in Baltimore, Mike started playing banjo at age 15. A professional bluegrass musician since 1976, Mike spent many years of experience developing his craft. His fluid style, both tasteful and driving, allows him to easily blend traditional and contemporary influences into his music. Mike currently tours with Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, a highly acclaimed contemporary bluegrass band whose 2014 album “Cold Spell” received a Grammy nomination. In 2013, Mike received the “Banjo Player of the Year” award from the I.B.M.A. (International Bluegrass Music Association)

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