Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, and Del McCoury will bring their legendary banjo skills to Ames on Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. all ages Valentine's Day show at Stephens Auditorium. Tickets to see the bluegrass mainstays range from $20 to $39 (plus taxes and fees), and they are still available through the Iowa State Center box office and online through Ticketmaster.
Béla Fleck has been nominated for Grammy Awards in more categories than anyone else in history, and he has won 14 times. Whether it is country, pop, bluegrass, instrumental, contemporary jazz, classical, Latin, or world music, the New York City native has won a Grammy for it. Fleck released his latest solo album, The Impostor, in 2013.
Fleck's wife, Abigail Washburn, is a world renowned banjo player herself. Washburn has played, collaborated, and educated all over the world, and she is a veteran of music festivals like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, MerleFest, Bonnaroo, the Vancouver Folk Festival, and others.
Del McCoury is one of bluegrass music's all-time greats. He has won two Grammy Awards and 31 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards (including winning "Entertainer of the Year" nine times). McCoury received a National Heritage Fellowship Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. The Dell McCoury Band (which also includes two of Dell's brothers) released their latest album, the Grammy-winning The Streets of Baltimore, in 2013.
For bluegrass and banjo fans, this should be a concert of epic proportions, and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event. Kudos to Iowa State University for booking this show. For a preview of the concert, you can check out Fleck and Washburn performing in the video above.