Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer to play genre-bending music Nov. 14 at Eisenhower

The leading virtuosos on their respective instruments, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer move with ease among the spheres of classical, bluegrass, jazz and world music. They’ll come together at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in Eisenhower Auditorium to perform original compositions showcasing the beauty and versatility of the banjo, tabla and double bass.

Special guest Rakesh Chaurasia, an important Indian flutist, will join them in concert at the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State. Five dollars of each ticket sold will be donated to Penn State THON.

Purchase tickets, which are $52 for an adult, $20 for a University Park student, and $42 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.

“The Melody of Rhythm”—Fleck, Hussain and Meyer’s 2009 album—features a triple concerto performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, plus other music for trio. “This CD is a stellar buy,” writes a reviewer for AllMusic.com, “because it showcases two entirely different faces of this group: one that plays a scripted work in the context of interacting with a much larger ensemble, and as what can only be called a new kind of improvising jazz trio that can work from a set composition and travel far and wide in sound, texture and color.”

Watch Fleck, Hussain and Meyer perform “Happy Drum Drum Monkey Girl.”

Each of the seven previous times Fleck has visited Eisenhower, including a 2004 duet concert with Meyer, the banjoist has performed with different musicians. Fleck has reinvented the image and sound of the banjo in a performing and recording career that has taken him to a plethora of places on the musical map. He’s won a shelf full of Grammy Awards and been nominated in more categories than any other artist.

Hussain, who appeared at Eisenhower in 2007 as part of the Global Drum Project, has become a national treasure in his home country, India, through brilliant and exciting performances as a classical tabla player of the first order. One of the chief architects of the contemporary world music movement, Hussain has earned international fame on his own and through collaborations.

A New Yorker writer calls Meyer “the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument.” The double bassist’s technique and musicianship, in combination with his gift for composing, have brought him widespread appreciation by classical and folk music audiences. Meyer has recorded duo projects with Chris Thile and Fleck; as a quartet with Joshua Bell, Sam Bush and Mike Marshall; as a trio with Fleck and Marshall; and as a Grammy-winning trio with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O’Connor.

Chaurasia is known across the globe for his classical and non-classical concerts. He’s also an acclaimed studio musician who has recorded with many of the leading names in the Indian film industry. Chaurasia, who plays the bansuri (a side-blown bamboo flute common to southern Asia), has toured with Hussain and also performed with Fleck, Meyer and Joshua Redman. His most recent venture is a fusion band, Rakesh and Friends, which creates music intended to appeal to young audiences while staying true to the essence of Indian classical music.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Hussain and Meyer, is offered one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Don and Mary Ellen Fisher sponsor the presentation.