Über Bela Fleck
Widely acknowledged as one of the world's most innovative and technically proficient banjo players, Fleck formed the Flecktones in the early '90s and then proceeded to smash any preconceived notion about what a banjo could or couldn't do. Fleck began playing banjo in high school in New York City. From the beginning he attempted to apply the theories and principles of Bebop to the instrument, blending them in with his already formidable Bluegrass talents. He spent the '80s as part of the Newgrass Revival, a group of virtuoso string band musicians intent on freeing themselves from the limitations of the genre. In the Flecktones he's supported by electric drums, electric bass and a number of keyboard instruments, and the music is really closer to Fusion jazz than anything else. The band is a major concert attraction and their records have -- surprisingly enough -- appeared on the charts and sold in impressive numbers.