Back in 2009 Béla Fleck, banjo virtuoso and leader of , went to Africa to that so many people think of as American:
“I thought it was important for people to realize where the banjo came from, because it’s been associated so much with the white southern stereotype. A lot of people in the United States don’t realize that the banjo is an African instrument. There’s an instrument here that may be the original banjo. One way to really illustrate it is to take the banjo back to Africa an research some of the roots of the banjo, but also just play with great African musicians and find a roll for the banjo in their music.”
In his career Fleck has played with just about every group to come through Nashville. He’s even been on several of The Chieftains albums, but this is completely different than any of his and it’s impressive how well he rises to the challenge:
You can hear the whole album, on YouTube, and if you’d like to see the whole documentary you can pick up your copy here.