Lied Center hosts biggest bluegrass event of the year

· 3 min read

Lied Center hosts biggest bluegrass event of the year

Musical legends Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn and the Del McCoury Band to join forces
Bela Fleck
Courtesy photo
Bela Fleck

Legendary bluegrass artists Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn will join the Del McCoury Band in a 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 performance at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The all-star ensemble will join forces on the Lied Center stage with foot-stomping talent that has not only garnered countless Grammy nominations and wins, but is setting the standard for the entire bluegrass music industry.

Fleck is the premiere banjo player in the world. He has reinvented the image and sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. His Grammy count is 15 Grammys won, and 30 nominations since 1998. He has been nominated in more different musical categories than anyone in Grammy history. Over the course of his career, Fleck has shared the stage with numerous music legends including the Dave Mathews Band, Sting, Bonnie Raitt and the Grateful Dead.

Washburn — a singing, songwriting, Illinois-born, Nashville-based clawhammer banjo player — is every bit as interested in the present and the future as she is in the past, and every bit as attuned to the global as she is to the local. She pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody has heard before. At the request of the U.S. government, Washburn and her Sparrow Quartet toured Tibet in 2006, something no other American band had done, and performed in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. Recently, she played the prominent U.S.A. Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai. She played the Clearwater Concert, a multi-generational folk extravaganza celebrating Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday; sang Stephen Foster songs backed by the Nashville Symphony during the 2009 Americana Music Festival; and has become a favorite opening act for Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

The Del McCoury Band is one of the most celebrated bluegrass bands in history. Originally known as Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals with Del on guitar and his brother, Jerry McCoury, on bass, the band went through a number of changes until the 1980s when the band solidified its line-up, adding McCoury’s sons Ronnie and Rob on mandolin and banjo. In 1988, the Dixie Pals name was dropped in favor of the current name and the band became a national touring act. In 2004 it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for “It’s Just the Night” and in 2006 it won that category for “The Company We Keep.” The band recorded with Steve Earle on his 1999 album, “The Mountain.” The band has also often performed in recent years with The Lee Boys, with setlists mixing bluegrass, funk and gospel with extended jams on many songs. Most recently, the Del McCoury Band was awarded a 2014 Grammy for “Best Bluegrass Album.”

Tickets, starting at $25 for adults and $12.50 for students, are available at, 402-472-4747 or the Lied Center box office.

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