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Concert: Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck With Casey Driessen and Ben Sollee
Tickets are only available at
Bearsville Theater
10/01/2008, 8:00PM

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Eight-time Grammy award winner Bela Fleck will open the 9TH Woodstock Film Festival, in concert with Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet featuring Casey Driessen and Ben Sollee

The Sparrow Quartet features the borderless sounds of two banjos, fiddle and cello, fronted by Abigail Washburn who has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "a daring, definite talent, whose feel for the folk idiom results in moving material. Soulful is the word." The LA Times described her music saying, "Abigail Washburn stomped and skipped through fiery Appalachian takes on the local songs of SichuanŸ She nails the dips and peaks of pitch while leading her band in scorching variations on simple, repetitive traditional melodies."

Bela Fleck joins the festival in two capacities this year, as he is also the producer and star of the documentary Throw Down Your Heart, director Sascha Paladino's full-length documentary chronicling Fleck's recent trip through Africa to uncover the roots of the banjo. The film follows the award-winning musician's travels to Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia and Mali, where he meets and plays with indigenous musicians and discovers more than he bargained for. Not only does he find many similarities between African melodies and American folk & bluegrass songs, he uses music to overcome cultural differences and touches on the human similarities hidden in the rhythms and the melodies of the cradle of civilization.

Fleck last appeared at the 2004 Woodstock Film Festival, performing with bassist Edgar Meyer, in conjunction with director/producer Sascha Paladino's Obstinato: Making Music for Two, which went on to win the WFF Best Short Doc award.

"We are thrilled to welcome Bela back to Woodstock. His opening night concert provides a perfect kick-off to this year's festival as it features a fascinating combination of musical styles and concepts by some of the most talented musicians on the planet, echoing our theme of cultural and artistic diversity," says Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director, Meira Blaustein, adding, "Like so many of our films, The Sparrow Quartet explores and crosses global boundaries to find the commonality we all share, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this very special event to the community."

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The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501 (C)(3) organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission  promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.
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