Ahead of the release of Béla Fleck’s new album Juno Concerto, the banjo virtuoso visited the WQXR studios to discuss his new project. He was joined by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, who appear on three of the concerto’s companion pieces: Griff (Parts I and II) and Quintet for Banjo and Strings (Movement II).
Fleck’s recent release and music, Juno Concerto, was named for his son and commissioned by the symphonies of Canton, Colorado, Louisville and South Carolina. He is quoted in a Rounder Records post saying of the album, “Every note of the concerto is colored by the experience of being a new father, and how that has changed what is important to me as a person, as well as what I wish to express through music.”
During their Facebook Live interview, Fleck and Brooklyn Rider opened with Griff (Part I). The piece was written shortly after the birth of Juno, right before a tour. Fleck realized he had no new music to play. With Griff, he was hoping to “get better at connecting ideas more, and develop more ideas and not be afraid of my bluegrass past.” Take a listen below and hear how he did.