Virtuoso banjoist Bela Fleck is going to appear in person at the Roxie theater Friday and Saturday night for the premiere of Throw Down Your Heart, a documentary about his trip to Africa to explore the roots of the banjo, which is descended from a West African instrument called the akonting and was brought to the United States by slaves
Fleck traveled to Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia, and Mali to make music with many great musicians, culminating in a series of sessions with akonting players. (Fleck said in an interview Monday that their music was “just like bluegrass but with a different emphasis,” and he’d be one to know.) Throw Down Your Heart is a great film with lots of beautiful and stirring music, and shows an Africa unfamiliar to many.
The CD of music from the film was just released, and it’s expected to be on sale at the Roxie. The show is also a teaser for his 3-day stint at Yoshi’s Oakland with the great Toumani Diabate.
What: Bela Fleck in person
Where: Roxie Theater
When: March 13 and 14 (showtimes), the movie plays at the Roxie through the 19th.