Vice President, Media & Public Relations
February 1, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck – widely regarded as the world’s best on that instrument – and his band, the Flecktones, bring their groundbreaking blend of jazz, bluegrass and fusion to Portland Feb. 23-25 in a unforgettable Portland Jazz Festival collaboration with the Oregon Symphony.
Resident Conductor Gregory Vajda will lead the orchestra in three performances, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23; 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in downtown Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The concerts are part of the Oregon Symphony’s Pops series.
Fleck has been hailed in recent press reports as “almost superhuman on the banjo.” He first started playing at age 15 after hearing one of the father figures of bluegrass, Earl Scruggs, performing the theme from the TV sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. Some 35 years later, as they say, the rest is history: Today Fleck is an eight-time Grammy Award-winner and 28-time Grammy nominee who holds the distinction of being the only artist ever nominated in eight different Grammy categories.
At last year’s Grammy ceremony the band’s latest album, The Hidden Land, was chosen Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
For their Oregon Symphony concert, the band and the orchestra will come together to perform a selection of works familiar to Flecktones fans from their many albums, including Zona Mona, Costa Brava and Sunset Road.
Tickets are available for $15 to $86 at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office, 923 SW Washington St., Portland. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at (503) 228-1353 or (800) 228-7343 during the same hours, or online at any time from the orchestra’s web site, www.orsymphony.org.
Tickets are also available through ticketmaster.com or by calling (503) 790-ARTS. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available through the symphony’s group sales hotline, (503) 416-6380.
The concert is presented by the Portland Jazz Festival with media support from KINK-FM radio and Willamette Week.