Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Englert Theatre — Feb 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Two of the country’s best banjo players, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, play the Englert Theatre tonight. The husband-and-wife duo have been playing together for years, but their self-titled debut album was only released late last year. Fleck and Washburn are noted advocates of non-profit organizations, and as such, this performance also marks a partnership with local non-profit Girls Rock! Iowa City.
Béla Fleck requires little introduction, seeing as he does have 15 Grammys, and is often noted as one of the greatest banjo players of all time. Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, however, are still a unique entry in the world of bluegrass. Armed with nothing but their banjos and their voices, their explorations of their chosen instruments are unparalleled. Utilizing every color of the banjo, and incorporating several lesser-known iterations of the folk instrument (cello and ukulele banjos, for instance), their music is an impressive journey from laid-back front porch folk to moody, droning blues.
Tuesday’s show will be preceded by a performance from Neon Daisies, a group of Girls Rock campers, in the Douglas and Linda Paul Gallery. Girls Rock! Iowa City has been working to encourage girls ages 8 through 16 to explore the world of music with music education workshops for the past year or so. Last summer, Girls Rock! held a weeklong camp, giving girls the chance to write original music, play instruments and perform music live. Fleck and Washburn will also be donating a portion of their merch sales to the organization.