Bela Fleck & Chris Thile


Saturday, September 10, 2016


Music Fest America

Featuring Béla Fleck & Chris Thile

Bela & Chris New Compressed

Music Fest America celebrated our nation’s musical traditions, presenting free performances from on two stages at Ives Concert Park. Six String Soldiers and some of Connecticut’s best bluegrass, jazz, folk, roots, gospel and classical artists performed.  After a brief intermission, the Ives gates re-opened for an evening of unforgettable music from Béla Fleck and Chris Thile on the Ives gazebo stage.

Béla Fleck

Bela Fleck

Just in case you aren’t familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he’s the premier banjo player in the world.  The 15-time Grammy Award winner has been nominated in more categories than any other artist in Grammy history, and remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat.

These days, Fleck bounces between various intriguing touring situations: he performs his concerto worldwide with symphonies, collaborates in a duo with Chick Corea and in a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer. He performs, in banjo duet with Abigail Washburn, and back to bluegrass with his old friends Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and – with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, who continue to perform together 25 years after the band’s inception. And now, for the first time…with Chris Thile!

Chris Thile

Thile 2

Multiple Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile, a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist. With his broad outlook that encompasses classical, rock, jazz, and bluegrass, Thile transcends the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres, creating a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike.

As a soloist Thile has released five albums including his most recent, Bach: Partitas and Sonatas, Vol.1, which was produced by renowned bassist Edgar Meyer.  In February 2013 Thile won a Grammy for his work on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan.  Then, in September 2014, Thile and Meyer released their latest album collaboration, Bass + Mandolin, which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.  Punch Brothers released their latest album, The Phosphorescent Blues, in January 2015.


Six String Soldiers

Six String Soldiers

Part of The United States Army Field Band, Six-String Soldiers is a four-member acoustic group performing Americana, folk, bluegrass, and Irish music in an informal setting. The group brings its signature style to the smallest, most intimate venues, the busiest public places, street festivals, and music festivals across the United States. With its focus on audience interaction and sharing its members’ stories and experiences as American Soldiers, Six-String Soldiers offers one of the most personal musical experiences found in the United States Army.

Also appearing are some of Connecticut’s best bluegrass, jazz, folk, roots, gospel and classical artists.


The Korey Brodsky Band

The Korey Brodsky Band, based in Newtown Connecticut, features 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association Youth All-Star and perennial contest winner Korey Brodsky on both guitar and mandolin, and Berklee-Grey Fox summer program scholarship award recipient Sofia Chiarandini on fiddle and lead vocal.  The band is rounded out with extraordinary multi-instrumentalist Dick Neal and veteran upright bass player Rick Brodsky.  Performing contemporary and traditional bluegrass, as well as originals by Korey and Dick, The Korey Brodsky Band has played many popular local bluegrass venues and festivals in CT & NY.



Teri Small & The First Assembly Community Choir

Terri Small is a native of New York but has made her home in CT since 2002.  She has traveled abroad to Japan and recorded both on a national and international level.  She has opened for Roberta Flack and has a recorded single with Bishop TD Jakes, “From Mother To Daughter”.

Terri has an incredible voice and delivers with passion and grace.  Terri recorded her CD “My Desire” and frequently travels throughout the Tri-State area for musical events.   This year she will  be performing a wonderful gospel and contemporary Christian rendition for the Ives Music Fest America with the HOP Community Choir of the First Assembly Church in Waterbury, CT, where

Pastor James Lilley is the Senior Pastor.


The Wool Hats String Band

The Wool Hats is a Connecticut based bluegrass/jamgrass band. Built upon a driving rhythm section, the trio of lead instruments weaves intricate melodic spaces while the vocal harmonies add to the warmth and richness of their sound. Their repertoire includes bluegrass classics and unique interpretations of classic rock material, as well as well-crafted originals. A fresh voice for our times, we are thrilled to welcome The Wool Hats String Band back to Ives Concert Park.


The Deming Trio

One of the most versatile groups in Connecticut, the Deming Trio performs everything from Bach to Bluegrass, from Gregorian Chant to Gershwin and from Joplin Rags to Rock and Jazz with a high standard rarely matched.  With many years of experience playing in the best orchestras and chamber ensembles across Connecticut, the three musicians of the Deming Trio bring a depth of understanding and skill that serves well the music at hand. The Deming Trio consists of

Larry Deming and Hafez Taghavi, violins; Mary Costanza, cello.


Cynthia Rauschert

Cynthia “Aviance” Rauschert is a professional stilt-walker, contact juggler and entertainer from New York City. After six years working primarily as a walk-around entertainer and circus skills instructor at various private, corporate and community events on the east coast, she was accepted into the flagship “EPI/CC” program, collaboration between the SF Clown Conservatory and the New College of California’s Experimental Performance Institute. In August 2007 Cynthia was one of the first four to ever receive an accredited degree in Clowning in the United States. After graduation she toured with Cirque du Soleil on the Saltimbanco Bus and is now performing locally in the Bay Area. Cyn’s mission is to spread joy and wonder and she’s trying to change the world one smile at a time.


Danbury Mad Hatters Chorus 

The Danbury Mad Hatters are a 30-man a capella chorus singing songs in the barbershop and other styles. The focus is on impressive singing and spreading the joy of harmony.  The Mad Hatters are a 3-time Small Chorus Champion for the Yankee Division and the North East District.

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