Happy Birthday Bela Fleck: With Jerry Garcia & David Grisman In 1991

Banjo master Bela Fleck celebrates his 58th birthday today. A true cross-genre musician, the prolific Fleck is proficient playing within the traditional and contemporary bluegrass idioms, as well as jazz, rock, country and many other popular styles from around the globe. This year saw the original lineup of his Bela Fleck and the Flecktones ensemble reunite and for Bela’s big day today, here’s a look back at time he shared the stage with another group of talented musicians – Jerry Garcia and David Grisman.

One of the final events organized by acclaimed concert promoter Bill Graham was the two-day Squaw Valley Summer Music Festival held on on August 24 and 25, 1991. The lineup on Saturday, August 24 featured Jimmy Cliff, Tower Of Power, Rhythm Tribe and the Jerry Garcia Band. Bela was at the second-day of the event for a performance with The Flecktones alongside appearances by Neville Brothers, Booker T. & the M.G.’s and Jerry Garcia & David Grisman.

Joining the Grateful Dead guitarist and his longtime collaborator and Old & In The Way band mate at Goldcoast Concert Bowl were Jim Kerwin on bass and Joe Craven playing violin and percussion. Their set took place in the early afternoon in order to avoid the high winds that plagued the JGB’s show the night before. Bela was welcomed to the stage by Grisman and Garcia for encore renditions of the former’s “Eat My Dust” and the latter’s “Ripple.”

Footage of much of the first set and the entire second set and Fleck-aided encore can be seen in the video posted by Voodoonola2 below:

Video Playlist

Set One (partial): Friend Of The Devil, Two Soldiers, So What?

Set Two: Russian Lullaby, Dawg’s Waltz, The Thrill is Gone, Old Rocking Chair, Arabia

Encore: Eat My Dust*, Ripple*

* with Bela Fleck

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