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A child named after three of Europe’s most interesting 20th century composers is almost set up to fail. If that child choses the banjo as their instrument of choice, we would probably shake our heads and walk away. But Béla Anton Leos Fleck has succeeded in amazing ways. Fleck has become one of the most sought after musicians of this generation, in genres as varied as bluegrass, jazz fusion, and classical orchestral.

One of the main reasons that Fleck has developed such a following, and been successful in so many arenas, is because of his ability to bring together a diverse group of fellow musicians and inspire them to create something interesting. Over the years, he has collaborated with amazing musicians from around the globe and across the musical spectrum, each encounter inspiring new ideas and integrating new influences. He has modeled the openness and curiosity that is necessary for creativity to thrive. His personal skill creates space for the skills of others, as they weave together the magic, each collaboration taking shape independently.

You may think that the banjo belongs on an episode of Beverly Hillbillies (this is certainly where Fleck first heard the instrument), but after listening to this playlist, I hope you’ll agree that creativity – in its finest forms – can be found in places that appear far off the beaten path.


ST#94 – The Banjo