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Abigail Washburn, Banjo & Wu Fei, Guzheng Photo
Abigail Washburn, Banjo & Wu Fei, Guzheng Photo
Abigail Washburn, Banjo & Wu Fei, Guzheng Photo
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Abigail Washburn, Banjo & Wu Fei, Guzheng

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7:30 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall


Beijing Meets Banjo

It might feel a bit strange to use the words “rockstar” and “guzheng” in the same sentence, but if anyone can take this 2,000-year-old Chinese stringed instrument and crank it up to 11, it would be Wu Fei. She is single-handedly responsible for bringing this once-elitist court instrument out of the palaces of the Qin dynasty and into the streets, using it in entirely unexpected and captivating ways. And matching her string for string and note for note is Abigail Washburn, a banjo virtuoso (and wife of fellow picker Béla Fleck) and TED Fellow who happens to also be fluent in both the language and culture of China. Together, these two remarkable musicians come together for an evening of musical storytelling that crosses continents to find commonalities.

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Abigail Washburn »
Wu Fei »

Boat Song/The Water is Wide." The two songs are folk songs from China and the U.S.

More videos at discover and listen »

“This sparkling collaboration...brought the similarities between Appalachian and Chinese folk tunes into stark relief, playing pan-continental mashups of traditional music. American folk tunes were gently decorated with the zither's glissando, and a take on the Coon Creek Girls' 1938 78 rpm record "Banjo Pickin' Girl" featured a furious zither solo. ”

- Rolling Stone Magazine