Airs Thursday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m. Part Two of Two: Banjoist Bela Fleck performs alongside exceptional African musicians such as Toumani Diabate, Vusi Mahlasela, D'Gary, Anania Ngoliga and others. Recorded at the Trustees Theater during the Savannah Music Festival. Bela Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. While he is probably best known for his group The Flecktones, his musical projects have included straight-ahead and progressive bluegrass, as well as collaborations with jazz pianist Chick Corea, bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, and Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, among others.
In the spring of 2005, Bela undertook his most ambitious project to date: on-location collaborations with musicians from Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Mali, South Africa and Madagascar. He wanted to explore the African origins of the banjo. Transcending barriers of language and culture, Bela found common ground with musicians ranging from local villagers to international superstars such as kora player Toumani Diabate, to create some of the most meaningful music of his career. On this second half of a two-part program, we listen to highlights from Bela Fleck's Africa Project in a concert performed at the Savannah Music Festival.