BELA FLECK AND ABIGAIL WASHBURN
You can't talk about banjo music and not mention Bela Fleck. He is the only musician to be nominated for Grammy Awards in jazz, bluegrass, pop, country, spoken word, Christian, composition and world music categories. With a total of 11 Grammy awards and 27 nominations, this groundbreaking banjoist and composer is one of the greats in the banjo world.
In 2011, Fleck wrote his first banjo concerto on commission with the Nashville Symphony titled "The Impostor." He continues to tour and record with his renowned counterparts, The Flecktones, as well as a wide range of solo projects and other collaborations.
You can catch Fleck alongside partner and well-known clawhammer banjo player and singer, Abigail Washburn, in their first duet performance during the Savannah Music Festival at 3 p.m. March 30 at the Lucas Theatre.
The duo has played together since they first met with impromptu performances at picking parties and planned shows for benefits and occasional radio shows, but they never took their act on the road until now. Their appearance at the festival takes place just months after the birth of one of their other collaborations: Their son, Juno.
LONESOME RIVER BAND
Lonesome River Band will team up with the Gibson Brothers at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 29 at the Ships of the Sea North Garden for a world-class bluegrass extravaganza.
The award-winning group formed more than 30 years ago and has been one of the most popular acts in bluegrass since the release of their breakout album, "Carrying the Tradition," in 1991.
Since then, the band has gone on to earn a multitude of recognitions, including the 2012 International Bluegrass Music Association Award for Instrumental Recorded Event of the Year for their song "Angeline the Baker."
Band leader, Music Hall of Famer and multi-award winning banjo picker Sammy Shelor (banjo and harmony vocals) leads this accomplished ensemble, including Brandon Rickman (lead/harmony vocals and guitar); Mike Hartgrove (fiddle); Barry Reed (bass and harmony vocals); and Randy Jones (lead/ harmony vocals and mandolin.)
Four virtuoso guitarists will come together for this Savannah-only double billing featuring duo Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge alongside duo Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. April 1 at the Charles H. Morris Center.
Showcasing four artists with diverse musical backgrounds, this event promises to be a memorable display of acoustic artistry.
Vignola is recognized primarily as a world-class jazz guitarist, but is also well-versed in every genre. About five years ago, he teamed up with the young and accomplished guitarist, Raniolo. Together, they perform 150-200 shows each year and released an album together, "Melody Magic." Their performances have been described as playful, with powerful displays of melodies and jaw-dropping technique.
Eldridge, a member of the widely acclaimed group Punch Brothers, brings a sound rooted in bluegrass to Lage's modern jazz and new music sound. The pair teamed up to tour after recording their EP "Close to Picture," which is described as a collaborative effort exploring improvisation and composition.