Sunday, January 23, 2022

Béla Fleck and the Knights to Serenade at Ford Center


The Gertrude Ford Center will host a classical music concert, but not in the traditional way. Béla Fleck stretches the boundaries of classical music which he will showcase Thursday night with the orchestra collective, The Knights.

Fleck has worked in bluegrass, country and jazz and world music which influenced his take on classical music. In his album “Perpetual Motion,” released 2001, featured Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell and Chris Thile and Evelyn Glennie among others. That classical recording album won two Grammy awards. Since 1998 Fleck has won 14 Grammys and has been nominated 30 times. He is the only one nominated in more than different categories than anyone on Grammy history.

He is considered to be the world’s premiere banjo player. In 2010 The Nashville Symphony asked him to write his first concerto for banjo. It premiered at Schermerhorn Symphony Center with music director Giancarlo Guerrero. That concerto “The Impostor” will be featured in Thursday’s performance.

He performs with his band, the Flecktones, and has collaborated with artists from bluegrass, country, jazz and world music. To get an idea of his musical talent here is a video of Fleck performing the Prelude from Bach Violin Partitia No. 3.

The Knights is an orchestral collective that is flexible in size and repertory and dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the concert experience. Founded by brothers Colin and Eric Jacobsen the band experiment with classical music. The Los Angeles Times said the band is leading “the future of classical music in America.”

Their performance Thursday night will include title track of their new album “the ground beneath our feet,” a group composition collaborated by the ensemble. Here is a video of The Knights playing Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”

In addition to Fleck’s “The Imposter” and “the ground beneath our feet”, the February 5th program will include Rossini’s “Overture to ‘The Barber of Seville'” and “Se il mio nome saper voi bramate” from “The Barber of Seville”, John Adam’s “Chamber Symphony” and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, “Big Country”.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30 at Gertrude Ford Center Thursday night. It costs $35.50 for orchestra and parterre seating, $28 for mezzanine and balcony seating as well as general admission.

Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for She can be reached at