Indiana University

Project Jumpstart

Entrepreneur of the Month

Béla Fleck

Jumpstart Partner

Project Jumpstart is grateful for support and assistance from The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kelley School of Business.

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Entrepreneur of the Month

Béla Fleck

Banjo Performer and Entrepreneur

Last fall, Project Jumpstart had the honor of hosting a Meet & Greet with 
Béla Fleck at the MAC lobby. Click here to watch the multiple Grammy Award
winner perform and share his words of wisdom with Jacobs School students.

"If your vision is the practice room, then it's not such an interesting 
vision to share but, if your vision is your feelings, your emotions, 
your experiences, that's what art is."
 – Béla Fleck

Bela Fleck

Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most innovative and technically proficient banjo players, Béla Fleck has virtually reinvented the image and the 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.

Best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, and more recently his Grammy award-winning Sony Classical recording “Perpetual Motion”, Béla Fleckis a powerfully creative force in bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock, world beat, and classical music.

On Solo Performance:

“I have been writing pieces for solo banjo since I started playing, but had been so busy playing in bands that I didn’t get around to playing any solo gigs – until recently. I almost always do a solo piece in every band setting, and I look forward to that part of every show. I would now make the case that playing solo is an essential piece of being a well-rounded musician.” – Béla Fleck

These days he bounces between various intriguing touring situations, such as performing his concerto with symphonies, in a duo with Chick Corea, a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer, concerts with the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, duos with Abigail Washburn, with African artists such as Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate, in a jazz collaboration with The Marcus Roberts Trio, doing bluegrass with his old friends, and rare solo concerts. AndBéla Fleck and the Flecktones still perform together, 25 years after the band’s inception.

On collaborations with his wife, singer/songwriter/banjo player Abigail Washburn:

“Our first musical collaboration together resulted in an unconventional string quartet comprised of two banjos, cello and violin and called The Sparrow Quartet. Ben Sollee and Casey Driessen completed the group, and we did a lot of traveling together over the course of a year or so. We were fortunate to be one of the first American groups to perform in Tibet, sponsored by the Chinese and US governments in tandem. That was a trip!” – Béla Fleck

The recipient of Multiple Grammy Awards going back to 1998, Béla Flecks’ total Grammy count is 15 Grammys won, and 30 nominations. He has been nominated in more different musical categories than anyone in Grammy history.