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Bela Fleck & the Flecktones

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is a bluegrass-fusion-jazz band. Well, what else would you call a band with a banjo player, saxophonist/flautist, a slap-and-pop bassist, and a "drumitar" player who calls himself Future Man?

Frontman Béla Fleck plays banjo, mixing a bluegrass and folk sound into a modern improvisational style. Fleck has received Grammy nominations for jazz, bluegrass, pop, spoken word and country. The man keeps busy.

Brothers Victor Wooten and Roy "Future Man" Wooten form the rhythm section. Victor Wooten is widely lauded in jazz circles for his sometimes hyperkinetic slap and pop bass style. Future Man plays percussion using a drumitar, a MIDI synthesizer shaped like a guitar.

Unlike the lineup of Spinal Tap--"37 people's been in this band over the years"--membership in The Flecktones is little changed since the band released its eponymous first album.

Harmonica player Howard Levy appeared on the Flecktones' first three albums. After Levy's departure, Fleck and the Wooten Brothers regrouped on the album Three Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the title a reference to the 1975 movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest based on Ken Kesey's novel. Saxophonist Jeff Coffin joined the band beginning with the album Live Art.

The band has won several Grammy awards.

Each of the current members of the quartet has released at least one solo album.


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