The Grand Rapids folk series gets a big boost with these iconic acts in 2018. St. Cecilia also will host another jazz show: A February CD-release concert for jazz pianist John Proulx.
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St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids has added some superstars to its Acoustic Café folk series for 2018.
Banjo marvels Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn will bring their virtuosic musicianship and impressive repertoire of songs to historic Royce Auditorium at St. Cecilia Music Center on Feb. 23, executive director Cathy Holbrook announced today. Tickets are $45-$50.
That show – part of the Acoustic Café folk series hosted by syndicated radio show host Rob Reinhart – will be followed on April 12 by the trailblazing country, Western swing and Ameripolitan ensemble Asleep at the Wheel. Tickets are $35-$40.
Between them, members of these two acts have won 25 Grammy Awards and wowed audiences across the globe.
Guitar hero Leo Kottke played the first show in the 2017-18 Acoustic Café series in October, with folk legend Judy Collins set to play St. Cecilia on Feb. 1. Tickets for Collins are $45-$55.
The much-admired, oft-jaw-dropping Fleck has long been hailed for his jazz fusion and bluegrass work with New Grass Revival and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, not to mention other collaborations. He’s married to Washburn, a clawhammer banjoist, singer and songwriter who’s earned widespread praise for her old-time folk and Americana music.
Together, they won a Grammy Award for best folk album for 2016’s “Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn” and recently released a new album, “Echo in the Valley.”
LEGENDARY COUNTRY AND WESTERN SWING, PLUS A JAZZ CD-RELEASE
Holbrook said she’s “very excited” about landing the duo for the Acoustic Cafe folk series this season. “We don’t have long to sell it (the Feb. 23 concert),” she said, “but I don’t think that will be a problem.”
Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, meanwhile, are celebrating more than 47 years of churning out their engaging country and Western swing music, collaborating with a host of different artists over the years, including Willie Nelson, Johnny Gimble, Blind Boys of Alabama and many more.
St. Cecilia also has added another jazz show, this one featuring a well-known West Michigan-bred musician.
Grammy-winning jazz pianist John Proulx will stage a CD-release concert for his new album, “Say It,” at St. Cecilia Music Center on Feb. 25. Tickets are $20 and $30 (with the $30 tickets including a copy of the new recording which officially gets released on Feb. 19.
After spending 16 years in Los Angeles, Proulx and his family recently moved back to Grand Rapids so the St. Cecilia concert also serves as a homecoming show for the pianist.
Tickets for all St. Cecilia concerts are available by calling 616-459-2224 or visiting scmc-online.org online. They can also be purchased at the St. Cecilia box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE.
VIDEO: Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, “Railroad”
VIDEO: Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, “Little Birdie”
VIDEO: Asleep at the Wheel, “Route 66”
VIDEO: Asleep at the Wheel, “San Antonio Rose”
VIDEO: John Proulx Quartet, “There is No Greater Love”
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