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Béla Fleck and the Flecktones


To witness Béla Fleck pick a banjo is akin to witnessing Ted Williams hit a fastball or Wolfgang Mozart play a piano. It's likely he's among the best there ever was, perhaps the best there ever will be. Like all virtuosos, Fleck does things with his instrument that suggest he might have invented it: intricate improvisations, freeform jazz instrumentals, even a modernized interpretation of a J.S. Bach fugue. The mind-blowing musicianship is, in truth, more reason to attend a Fleck show than the artist's recent songwriting, which crested with 1999's wonderful The Bluegrass Sessions: Tales From the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 2 and has since settled into a smoothed-out form of willful eclecticism -- an adult-contemporary comfort zone epitomized by the 2006 release The Hidden Land (Sony/Columbia). But no matter. In a live show, the various band members -- comprised of longtime Flecktones Victor Wooten on bass, brother Roy "Futureman" Wooten on drums and Jeff Coffin on tenor sax -- interlock like clockwork, spinning a mesmerizing musical yarn into a singularly spellbinding concert experience. Tickets $32.50. -- Noah Bonaparte Pais

8 p.m. Fri., June 1

House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;


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