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Bela Fleck
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    (July 10, 1958- )
    Born in New York City, New York
    Banjo player
    Member of New Grass Revival
    Led Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
    Recorded the albums 'Crossing the Tracks' (1979), 'Natural Bridge' (1982), 'Double Time' (1984), 'Inroads' (1986), 'Daybreak' (1987), 'Drive' (1988), 'Places' (1988), 'Tales from the Acoustic Planet' (1995), 'Tabula Rasa' (1996), 'The Bluegrass Sessions: Tales from the Acoustic Planet Vol. 2' (1999), 'Perpetual Motion' (2001), 'Music for Two' (2004), 'Tales from the Acoustic Planet Vol. 3: The Africa Sessions' (2009) and 'The Melody of the Rhythm' (2009)
    With the Flecktones, recorded the albums 'Flight of the Cosmic Hippo' (1991), 'UFO Tofu' (1992), 'Three Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' (1993), 'Left of Cool' (1998), 'Outbound' (2000), 'Little Worlds' (2003), 'Jingle All the Way' (2008) and 'Rocket Science' (2011)
    He was first drawn to the banjo after hearing the theme song to The Beverly Hillbillies.
    He began playing gigs while still in high school, noting 'I'd be riding the subway back at 3 or 4 in the morning and getting up at 7 AM, then toughing it out through the school day.'
    He said of the Flecktones' bluegrass-meets-jazz sound, 'It was so bizarre it was actually commercial, in a non-commercial way.'
    He was named after classical composer Bela Bartok.
    His influences range from bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs to jazz greats Chick Corea and Charlie Parker.
    He has won 13 Grammys (through 2012) in fields ranging from country to jazz to world music to classical.

Credit: C. Fishel

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