May 28, 2009

Strategic Marriage Will Consolidate Power Within Single Banjo Sovereignty

Fleck, Washburn promise male heir, Holy Banjo Emperor

Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck, accompanied by two courtesans, prepare for the historic wedding.

Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck, accompanied here by two courtiers, prepare for the historic wedding.

NASHVILLE — After lengthy negotiations between their two camps, banjoists Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have agreed to marry one another, advancing their long campaign to unify the progressive and old-time banjo empires under a single sovereign ruler.

The carefully calculated union aims to create one insurmountable banjo juggernaut whose historic domain will span old-time, bluegrass, jazz, fusion, European classical, African and Chinese styles.

While strategic considerations were clearly primary, sources close to Fleck and Ms. Washburn also indicate that the future bride and groom “barely detest each other at all,” which may have facilitated the negotiations somewhat.

“Historically that factor has also been relevant to the viability of such arranged marriages of power,” said a K. Scharf, a Yale historian.

Fleck, the King of Progressive Banjo, dominates a vast empire encompassing most genres of banjo music.  But he has always stopped short of mounting a full-fledged conquest of old-time territories.

Ms. Washburn, the renowned Duchess of Old-Time Banjo and Song, offers a peaceful way to fill in the gap.

Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck perform the duet “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” during a jam session at Celtic Connections 2009.

For her own part, Ms. Washburn has tirelessly sought to expand her domain beyond old-time music, executing successful ventures into modern areas such as improvised music and electronica.

She has even gone so far as to achieve fluency in Chinese, establishing primacy in a vast region long considered unconquerable by banjo players.

“That move required tremendous foresight, coming as it did before the global financial collapse, and it speaks to Abby’s impressive capacity for long term strategic planning,” said Riley Baugus, an old-time musician.

According to aides close to both parties, the marriage offers the prospect of a male heir who would carry on the Fleck-Washburn banjo empire into future generations, securing a legacy of greatness.

Said fiddler Casey Driessen, “Three words: Holy. Banjo. Emperor.”


7 Responses to “Strategic Marriage Will Consolidate Power Within Single Banjo Sovereignty”

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  2. ACL Artists We Can’t Wait to See #55 Abigail Washburn on July 6th, 2011 8:40 pm

    […] of her and produced one of her records.  Oh, and also decided to marry her last year.  As the Bluegrass Intelligencer joked, they are consolidating their genetic material to create the “Holy Banjo […]

  3. Anne Stranberg on July 27th, 2010 6:47 pm

    Wow! We are so excited to hear this. Our son, Bill Stranberg introduced us to Abigail’s work when she visited Chengdu, Sichuan. Everyone here is so impressed. Best of all creative imaginings to you both. What fun! And thank you for all you offer to us.

    With Special Regards,

    Anne and Jim Stranberg
    Libertyville, IL, 60048

  4. Mitch Finley on May 20th, 2010 3:43 pm

    . . .so deeply touched. . .weak in the knees. . .tears running down cheeks. . .okay, good. . .now back to my own pitiful banjo pickin’. . .

  5. Andy Sicard on August 19th, 2009 12:29 pm

    I will sleep better tonight knowing this! Holy. Banjo. Emperor!

  6. Bettie Yanota on August 11th, 2009 11:31 am

    Congratulations Bela and Abby. I saw Bela in Edmonton on my birthday and was happy to see the wedding band.

  7. Lin Carvell on July 4th, 2009 6:37 pm

    Congratulations Abby and Bela!!!
    Love from all of the Mt Prospect Carvells

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