As We Speak: Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain

feat. Rakesh Chaurasia
Berklee Performance Center

“When we are performing on stage, in composing mode or creating mode, we are basically having a conversation,” says renowned tabla player, Zakir Hussain, of his bandmates, banjo legend Béla Fleck, the great double bassist Edgar Meyer, and bansuri player Rakesh Chaurasia. “So the music emerges as we speak.”

Four masterful genre-benders—Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, and featuring bansuri player Rakesh Chaurasia—come together once again to blur geographic borders and musical boundaries for an exuberantly virtuosic and exciting evening of music.  The versatility of the banjo, the tabla, the bansuri flute, and the double bass allow for limitless possibilities across genres: bluegrass, classical, global music, jazz, and more come together and recombine in unheard-of ways. The quartet—each an engaging performer—has unmistakable rapport that forms a foundation for their musical alchemy.  

The quartet’s latest album, As We Speak, out May 12, showcases the group’s breathtaking abilities as instrumentalists and underscores the wide range of influences at their command. Across a dozen new songs, the quartet glides easily between the cerebral complexity of Indian rhythm and the gut-level groove of a funky bass line, sounding equally at home with the rigors of raga. The performance will feature selections from As We Speak, as well as highlights from previous collaborations.

“What I think is good about this quartet is that everybody has to stretch in the direction of the other people,” says Fleck. “To me, a collaboration where nobody changes is not a collaboration. It's a mashup. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I like a collaboration where I have to learn a bunch of new things from the other people. And in this case, I'm learning like crazy.” 

Their joy is palpable, and the audience will share the excitement and enthusiasm!

“Contextually speaking, a group bringing together the American, European, and Indian sounds of banjo, tabla, double bass, and wooden flute might seem a strange musical quilt. Then again, the parties involved in the new power trio of banjoist extraordinaire Béla Fleck, tabla master Zakir Hussain, and double bassist Edgar Meyer … include musicians well accustomed to musical border crossings and genre crosstalk.”


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Berklee Performance Center Information

This performance is generously sponsored by
Julia Byers & Steven Holtzman.