Colorado College News: Music, Ethnomusicology Symposium Joins Scholars, Performers Mon, 02 Oct 2017 10:30:00 MDT ]]> <p>The largest gathering of it kind of Indigenous musicians and scholars will take place at Colorado College on Wednesday, Oct. 25. <a href=";Title=">&ldquo;Sound Alliances: A Celebration of Indigenous Music and Culture&rdquo;</a> brings together Indigenous musicians from Taiwan, Scandinavia, and the U.S., along with Native and non-Native music scholars, at a symposium coordinated by CC Professor of Music Victoria Levine.</p> <p>Approximately 25 Indigenous performance artists, scholars, and musicians will give presentations at the event, and will be joined by approximately 75 other music scholars along with CC faculty, students, and staff.</p> <p>The term &ldquo;Indigenous&rdquo; applies to any people who originated in a particular place and who have been colonialized and subjected to land loss, diminished human rights and discrimination, says Levine, who has taught ethnomusicology at Colorado College since 1988.<br /><br />The symposium, hosted by Colorado College and the Society of Ethnomusicology Indigenous Music section, is being held in advance of the Society of Ethnomusiciology&rsquo;s annual meeting in Denver.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is an incredible opportunity for all of us working in the area of Indigenous music to come together in one place,&rdquo; says Levine. &ldquo;We look forward to focused discussion, particularly on the topics of innovative engagements with Indigenous theories and research methodologies, and on ways in which scholars might collaborate with Indigenous activists to promote social justice.&rdquo;<br /><br />The CC event includes three roundtable discussions, a gallery tour of an exhibit by Raven Chacon (Navajo) at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and a multi-media performance featuring traditional and contemporary Indigenous performers. All are free and open to the public.</p> Tuning In – Bluegrass Class Hits the Road Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:00:00 MDT ]]> <p>By<strong> Laurie Laker &rsquo;12</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;Bluegrass&nbsp;makes community,&rdquo; says Keith&nbsp;Reed, banjo, guitar, and bluegrass ensemble teacher with Colorado College&rsquo;s studio faculty in the Department of Music.<br /><br />&ldquo;You add players, you add community.&rdquo;<br /><br />It&rsquo;s a simple premise, but one that&nbsp;Reed&nbsp;and CC&rsquo;s&nbsp;bluegrass ensemble&nbsp;are putting to the test this Block A as they tour the Midwest and Southeastern United States.<br /><br />&ldquo;I wanted the students to get the real road experience, to feel what it&rsquo;s like to do the hard miles,&rdquo;&nbsp;Reed&nbsp;says with a huge smile.<br /><br /><img width="400" height="300" align="right" style="float: right;" alt="Bluegrass web" src="/newsevents/newsroom/images/Bluegrass web.jpg" />A lifelong bluegrass player and touring musician himself,&nbsp;Reed is uniquely positioned to present the realities of a musical life on the road to his students. Having performed across the country and around the world, including shows at the Ryman Auditorium&nbsp;in Nashville&nbsp;and&nbsp;Washington D.C.&rsquo;s&nbsp;Kennedy Center,&nbsp;Reed&rsquo;s&nbsp;band of merry musicians have been hitting the road since early June.<br /><br />In one of CC&rsquo;s most immersive Summer Session courses, Advanced Topics in Music:&nbsp;On the Road &amp; American Bluegrass, the students are playing festivals, campsites, and clubs across the American heartland and Southeast. Additionally, they will be getting up close and personal with professional musicians across a number of venues and stages across the country.<br /><br />&ldquo;This is such a great group of students,&rdquo;&nbsp;Reed&nbsp;says. &ldquo;They want to do the work of touring musicians, to be exhausted, to perform, to form that community.&rdquo;<br /><br />"This class has shown us what life on the road is like,&rdquo; says <strong>Garrett Blackwell '17</strong>. &ldquo;Traveling from the West to the East, we experienced a wealth of culture. We get to meet many musicians who have been on the road for dozens of years with valuable insights to share. Overall, this class has epitomized the experiential learning opportunity that makes CC such a magical place."<br /><br />It&rsquo;s one of the most&nbsp;&ldquo;CC&rdquo;&nbsp;experiences anyone could think of putting together&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;a month, on the road, in a 12-person van, touring across the country, living and breathing the experience.<br /><br />&ldquo;There are huge opportunities here, and not strictly musical ones. For students interested&nbsp;in the industry, we&rsquo;re meeting with music executives and producers, working with sound engineers and roadies&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;every person has worth on this trip, every single role is incredibly valuable,&rdquo;&nbsp;Reed&nbsp;explains.<br /><br />So far, the ensemble&nbsp;has&nbsp;played, camped, and&nbsp;AirB&amp;B&rsquo;d&nbsp;their way across Montana&nbsp;and&nbsp;South Dakota, and were at a major festival in Indiana through June 15. From there, they headed east to Asheville, North Carolina, then to Nashville, Tennessee, and finally onto Owensboro, Kentucky,&nbsp;for the Romp Festival.<br /><br />"We're experiencing almost everything that a bluegrass band would on the road,&rdquo; says <strong>Yuexin Chen &rsquo;18</strong>. &ldquo;From camping and jamming, long drives, inevitable junk food at the rest stops, to the exciting parts such as recording and busking late night on the streets."<br /><br />&ldquo;Along the way,&rdquo;&nbsp;Reed&nbsp;says, &ldquo;we&rsquo;re playing with some extraordinary&nbsp;musicians&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;real legends of bluegrass and folk&nbsp;&mdash;like Chris&nbsp;Thile of Nickel Creek, the Nitty Gritty Dirty Band, and so on. We&rsquo;ll see them perform, getting to see world-class live music, and to pick with them along the way.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Every time we play, we hit it hard,&rdquo;&nbsp;Reed&nbsp;goes on. &ldquo;We want to live that experience, that road life.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;What this course does, this experience, is it allows us to get a real feel for the country as a whole. We go through so many places with unique music cultures, through Utah, Montana, the Badlands, down into the South &ndash; it&rsquo;s amazing.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Music doesn&rsquo;t pay attention to age groups, what people do, what they believe,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;As long as you love it, you&rsquo;re accepted. That&rsquo;s what this class is all about.&rdquo;<br /><br />Follow the latest updates from the road via CC&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="">Instagram page</a>, as the students share their touring experience.</p> Emily Kohut ’16, Professor Levine Publish Music Curricula Study Tue, 09 May 2017 12:15:00 MDT <p>Colorado College Music Professor Victoria Levine and <strong>Emily Kohut &rsquo;16</strong>, who graduated from Colorado College as a double major in classics and English, have co-authored a chapter in the recently published &ldquo;College Music Curricula for a New Century.&rdquo;<br /><br />Levine has taught ethnomusicology at CC since 1988, and Kohut, who focused on classical languages and literature, emphasizing Latin, served as Levine&rsquo;s research assistant from 2014-16.<br /><br />&ldquo;College Music Curricula for a New Century,&rdquo; edited by Robin D. Moore and published by Oxford University Press, considers what a more inclusive, dynamic, and socially engaged curriculum of musical study might look like in colleges and universities.<br /><br />Levine and Kohut open their chapter, &ldquo;Finding a Balance: Music at Liberal Arts Colleges,&rdquo; by looking at how liberal arts music departments have evolved since the 1970s, when curricula emphasized interpretive performance of the Western canon, along with courses in music theory and history. They note that in less than 50 years, &ldquo;the emphasis within liberal arts music departments shifted from Western music connoisseurship to professionalized training to coverage of multiple disciplines within the field of music.&rdquo;<br /><br />The authors cite the challenges facing liberal arts music departments and the need for faculty to transform the way music is taught and learned at small colleges in order to remain relevant, especially in the current cultural and economic climate. Their chapter explores how music faculty at 13 liberal arts colleges&mdash;Amherst, Bowdoin, Carleton, Colorado College, Davidson, Grinnell, Hampshire, Macalester, Pomona, Reed, Skidmore, Smith, and Williams&mdash; are facing these challenges by remapping their curricula and provides a snapshot of current trends in liberal arts music education.<br /><br />&ldquo;As a faculty member, it&rsquo;s deeply rewarding to collaborate with research assistants like Emily, who bring great energy and enthusiasm to a project along with a genuine passion for learning. I&rsquo;m delighted to share authorship of this article with her, and am thrilled by her success,&rdquo; says Levine.<br /><br />Kohut served as an intern for curricular development and programs with Harvard University&rsquo;s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2015. Following graduation last May, she worked for them again last summer, and then on a continuing basis during the academic year. She&rsquo;ll be returning to Washington this summer to continue her work for them.</p> Focusing a Lens on Music Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:00:00 MDT ]]> <p>By <strong>Laurie Laker &rsquo;12</strong></p> <p>At the heart of all great photography is opportunity, and luck. Being in the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment makes the world of difference. What counts more, however, is skill.</p> <p>The immense skill of storied photographer Colorado Springs&rsquo; own Larry Hulst, whose iconic work spans decades of music history, is on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The exhibition, titled&nbsp;<a href="">&ldquo;Front Row Center,&rdquo;</a> runs until May 21, and features some of the most important figures in modern music. What Hulst does so masterfully is capture the energy of moments, those seconds you tell your friends about after the show, the sight of sonic history.</p> <p>Collaborating with the Fine Arts Center on the exhibition catalog are many CC faculty, each focusing their lenses of expertise on Hulst&rsquo;s work, the artists captured, and their own passions for music. Assistant Professor of Music Ryan Ba&ntilde;agale focuses his energies on Paul McCartney and Willie Nelson; Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance Idris Goodwin, also a spoken word and hip-hop artist, turns his attentions to Lauryn Hill, Muddy Waters, and Robbie Robertson. Associate Professor of English Steven Hayward, who edited the catalog, reflects on the live ferocity of guitarist Pete Townsend and the &ldquo;supercool&rdquo; of Michael Hutchence of INXS, while his department colleagues Natanya Pulley and Michael Sawyer capture the majesty of David Bowie, the honed (in)sanity of Iggy Pop, and the electric wizardry of Jimi Hendrix.</p> <p>These historic artists, and many more, are caught in light and noise in Hulst&rsquo;s photographs. Their legacies, living or otherwise, are almost audible from the pictures.</p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: black; font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">A panel consisting of the CC faculty members who worked on the book, as well as special guests Joy Armstrong, Natanya Pulley, and Kirsten Turner, will discuss the exhibit and the photographs this coming First Monday on March 27, at 11:15 a.m., in the Kathryn Mohrman Theatre.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt;"><span style="color: #000000;" color="#000000"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;" color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </span></span></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;" color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </span></p> Bañagale Composes Music for CC, FAC Production Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:00:00 MST ]]> <p>The alliance between Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is striking a musical chord.<br /><br />Colorado College Assistant Professor of Music <strong>Ryan Ba&ntilde;agale</strong> <strong>&rsquo;00</strong> has composed the original score for &ldquo;Enchanted April,&rdquo; a production opening Thursday, Feb. 9 at the Fine Arts Center. The romantic comedy, based on the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, is coming to the FAC for the first time, following 500 critically-acclaimed productions worldwide.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think this foreshadows the exciting ways that we can think about collaboration and innovation in the arts as we move forward with the CC and FAC alliance,&rdquo;&nbsp;Ba&ntilde;agale says.<br /><br />The music has been scored for a Colorado College student string quartet comprised of <strong>Anna Lynn-Palevsky &rsquo;18</strong> and&nbsp;<strong>Naomi Sherman &rsquo;17</strong>, violin;&nbsp;<strong>Emily Fitzgerald &rsquo;20</strong>, viola; and&nbsp;<strong>Cirl Lee &rsquo;17</strong>, cello. In addition to the musicians, <strong>Max Sarkowsky &rsquo;20</strong> and <strong>Caleb Cofsky &rsquo;17</strong> have been assisting with the recording set-up and process, providing them&nbsp;with exposure to professional-level production techniques and&nbsp;procedures. The students have been recording in Packard Hall with the assistance of the FAC&rsquo;s sound designer, Ben Heston.<br /><br /> Ba&ntilde;agale notes that there are more than a dozen individual cues, ranging from&nbsp;10 seconds to&nbsp;several minutes in duration. Says Ba&ntilde;agale of the score, &ldquo;The interesting challenge has been how to sonically set the dreary mood of post-World War I London that dominates the first act with the lighter, brighter location of Act Two &mdash; a villa on the Italian coast.</p> <p>An added benefit of the collaboration was the addition of the language skills of Amy Brooks, Tutt Library&rsquo;s special collections coordinator and regional performing artist. Brooks, who often works as a dialect coach, met with the cast individually and in groups, helping them hone their upper-class British accents. She also coached three non-Italian-speaking actors for a show in which their characters speak fluent Italian. Says Brooks, &ldquo;I see this alliance as presenting wonderful possibilities for cross-pollination.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Working collaboratively with the students, the FAC production team, Amy Brooks, and director Joye Levy has been a&nbsp;truly wonderful experience,&rdquo; adds&nbsp;Ba&ntilde;agale.</p> <p>An additional perk of the alliance is that Colorado College students can show up&nbsp;an hour&nbsp;prior to any performance and receive a free ticket (as available) by showing their CC ID. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">&ldquo;Enchanted April&rdquo;</a> runs Feb. 9-27, Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> New York Times Covers CC's Billy Joel Conference Tue, 11 Oct 2016 11:15:00 MDT ]]> <p>Colorado College&rsquo;s musicology conference, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s Still Rock and Roll to Me: The Music and Lyrics of Billy Joel,&rdquo; was covered extensively in <em>The New York Times</em>, <a href=";_r=2">both online</a> and in print (print version, Oct. 11, page C3).<br />The conference, co-chaired by CC Assistant Professor of Music Ryan Ba&ntilde;agale, was the first-ever scholarly symposium devoted to the music of &ldquo;America&rsquo;s Piano Man.&rdquo; Nearly 400 attendees, many of them traveling nationally and internationally, attended the two-day event, held on campus Oct. 7-8. <br /> The symposium featured more than <a href="">30 presentations</a> and culminated in a live question and answer phone interview with Billy Joel. Among those presenting, in addition to Ba&ntilde;agale, were Jim Bosse, a member of Joel&rsquo;s high-school rock band; conference co-chair Joshua Duchan, a Billy Joel scholar at Wayne State University and author of a forthcoming book on Joel; and Heather Laurel, of the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, with a session titled &ldquo;Your Special Island: Locality, Nostalgia, and the Suburban Blues in Billy Joel&rsquo;s New York Songs.&rdquo;<br /> &ldquo;Billy Joel&rsquo;s career has spanned more than five decades, yet by comparison to other American musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, virtually no scholarly attention has been given to Joel&rsquo;s music,&rdquo; Banagale said.</p> CC Hosts Symposium on America’s ‘Piano Man’ Sun, 02 Oct 2016 21:00:00 MDT ]]> <p><span style="margin: 0px; color: black; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;">Colorado College is hosting the first-ever scholarly symposium on the music and lyrics of America&rsquo;s &ldquo;piano man,&rdquo; Billy Joel. The two-day public musicology conference, </span><a href=""><span style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #0000ff;" color="#0000ff">&ldquo;It's Still Rock and Roll to Me: The Music and Lyrics of Billy Joel,&rdquo;</span></span></a><span style="margin: 0px; color: black; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"> seeks to shed light on Joel&rsquo;s songs and why they&rsquo;re so meaningful for so many people.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN" style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #000000;" color="#000000">Joel is a consummate singer-songwriter whose compositions translate larger cultural concerns into accessible and compelling musical narratives, says </span></span><span style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #000000;" color="#000000">CC Assistant Professor of Music Ryan</span><span> Raul Ba&ntilde;agale</span><span style="color: #000000;" color="#000000">. </span><span>&ldquo;Billy Joel&rsquo;s&nbsp;career has spanned more than five decades, yet by comparison to musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, virtually no scholarly attention has been given to Joel&rsquo;s music,&rdquo; says Ba&ntilde;agale</span><span style="color: #000000;" color="#000000">, who</span><span> is organizing the conference with Joshua S. Duchan of Wayne State University.</span></span><span style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #000000;" color="#000000"> </span></span></p> <p><span style="margin: 0px; color: black; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;">The keynote event is &ldquo;Take the Phone off the Hook,&rdquo; a live phone interview with Joel, conducted by Ba&ntilde;agale and Duchan. </span><a href=""><span style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #0000ff;" color="#0000ff">The symposium program</span></span></a><span style="margin: 0px; color: black; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"> also </span><span style="margin: 0px; color: #333333; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;">features presentations, round tables, workshops, a screening of the documentary &ldquo;A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia,&rdquo; and a concert dedicated to the pop musician. </span></p> <p><span style="margin: 0px; color: #333333; line-height: 107%; font-family: 'Georgia',serif; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Georgia; font-size: small;" color="#000000" face="Georgia" size="2">Ba&ntilde;</span>agale sat down with <span style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia; font-size: small;" color="#333333" face="Georgia" size="2">Jeff Bieri</span> of 91.5 KRCC, Colorado College<span style="font-family: Georgia; font-size: small;" face="Georgia" size="2">&rsquo;s</span> NPR-member station, to discuss the upcoming conference on a <a href="">recent&nbsp;episode of&nbsp; <span style="color: #000000; font-family: Georgia; font-size: small;" color="#000000" face="Georgia" size="2">&ldquo;</span>Air Check.<span style="color: #000000; font-family: Georgia; font-size: small;" color="#000000" face="Georgia" size="2">&rdquo;</span></a></span></p> CC's Summer Music Festival Thu, 26 May 2016 13:15:00 MDT ]]> <p>The <a href="">Colorado College Summer Music Festival</a> offers 28 events in a three-week period, with programs ranging from classical to contemporary to children&rsquo;s concerts and free lunchtime concerts.&nbsp;This year&rsquo;s schedule also includes four free pre-concert lectures &ndash; think of these as mini-blocks in music appreciation. Now in its 32 season, the festival&nbsp;has brought the very best in chamber and&nbsp;orchestra music to the wider Colorado Springs&nbsp;community since 1984.</p> Max Grossenbacher ’16 Receives NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Fri, 04 Mar 2016 15:45:00 MST <p><strong>Max Grossenbacher &rsquo;16</strong> has won virtually every award possible during his four years as a student-athlete at Colorado College.<br /><br />His unwavering commitment to excellence in the classroom and as a member of the men&rsquo;s soccer team has earned him a place among the most decorated student-athletes in the school&rsquo;s history.<br /><br />In recognition of those achievements, Grossenbacher added his name to the most exclusive list with the announcement that he was named a recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which are awarded to a select group who excel academically and athletically.<br /><br />Only 29 scholarships are awarded for both men and women from each sports season (fall, winter and spring).<br /><br />&ldquo;I want to thank my sponsors and I am grateful for their efforts during the application process,&rdquo; says Grossenbacher. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m glad that Pedro de Araujo, CC&rsquo;s faculty athletics representative, pushed me to apply because it was a very rewarding experience. It was great for me and Colorado College to be recognized.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m the one who won the awards, but there are many other student-athletes who work just as hard and are just as deserving of awards like these.&rdquo;<br /><br />To qualify for the $7,500 scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) and have been a member of a varsity team. Recipients also must intend to continue academic work beyond the bachelor&rsquo;s degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.<br /><br />&ldquo;I was ecstatic when I received the news that Max was awarded the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship,&rdquo; says de Araujo, associate professor and chair of the Economics and Business Department. &ldquo;Max exemplifies the student-athlete model and Division III philosophy. I know he is moving on to accomplish great things and this award will definitely help. I am very proud of him.&rdquo;<br /><br />Grossenbacher, who owns a 3.81 grade-point average, will graduate in May with a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in biochemistry and a minor in music. He plans to attend medical school in 2017.<br /><br />The native of San Antonio, Texas, easily surpassed the minimum requirements to qualify for the scholarship. In December, Grossenbacher became just the third player in the history of CC men's soccer to be named a Scholar All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He joins <strong>Patrick McGinnis &rsquo;04</strong> and <strong>Brandon Ogilvie &rsquo;13</strong> as recipients of the organization&rsquo;s highest academic award.<br /><br />The senior midfielder and McGinnis are the only Tigers to earn All-America and Scholar All-America honors from the NSCAA during the same season.<br /><br />&ldquo;I hope that my receiving awards like this will inspire our younger students to apply for these honors,&rdquo; Grossenbacher says. &ldquo;Receiving the NCAA scholarship is the culmination of my Colorado College experience and I will cherish it forever.&rdquo; <a href="">Read more here.</a></p> Abigail Washburn ’99, Béla Fleck Win Grammy Award Mon, 15 Feb 2016 17:15:00 MST ]]> <p>&ldquo;B&eacute;la Fleck and Abigail Washburn,&rdquo; the first album released by the husband-and-wife team as a duo, is the winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album. It is the first Grammy win for Washburn, who graduated as Colorado College&rsquo;s first East Asian Studies major and was the 2012 Commencement speaker.</p> <p>Banjo superstars Washburn and Fleck spent three days at Colorado College earlier this month where they held a master workshop for students in CC&rsquo;s most advanced bluegrass ensemble, performed at a sold-out concert in Kathryn Mohrman Theatre, and sat down for an interview with &ldquo;Critical Karaoke&rdquo; hosts Steven Hayward, Ryan Banagale, and Idris Goodwin, all CC faculty members.</p> <p>&ldquo;<a href="">Critical Karaoke Episode 11: Arranging B&eacute;la Fleck and Abigail Washburn</a>&rdquo; focuses on the subject of arrangements&mdash;musical, personal, and otherwise.&nbsp; The episode, which can be heard on KRCC, Colorado College&rsquo;s NPR-member station, covers a range of topics, from collaboration on their self-titled duet album to ambassadorship and humanitarian work to raising a child together.</p> <p>&ldquo;Abby is a shining example of what one can do with a liberal arts degree,&rdquo; says &ldquo;Critical Karaoke&rdquo; co-host and Assistant Professor of Music Ba&ntilde;agale &rsquo;00. &ldquo;Not only in the diverse ways that she approaches music, but also in the world &mdash; a musical humanitarian. &nbsp;I&rsquo;m honored to have had the chance to sit down and talk with her and B&eacute;la and sit right next to them as they played their incredible music together.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Washburn and Fleck began trading banjo riffs in 2005, when both joined the folk band Sparrow Quartet. Now, after a decade of shared gigs and marriage, the two are one of the most sought-after acts on the circuit. Fleck is the premiere banjo player in the world, holding more Grammy Awards (now 16 in total) and nominations in more categories than any other musician, while Washburn is a singing (often in Mandarin Chinese), songwriting, claw hammer banjo player.</p> <p>Washburn&rsquo;s music is inspired by her deep interest in Chinese language and culture. In it, she explores the intersections of American and Chinese music, creating a unique fusion of American roots and Chinese folk music. As a 2012 TED Fellow, Washburn inspired countless listeners in describing the many detours she undertook from her initial post-graduation plan to study law in Beijing and improve America-China relations. As she herself notes, she has most likely contributed more to America-China relations as a musician and cultural ambassador than she would have as an attorney.</p>