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Australian: Banjo pair Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn make first Australian tour

Bela Fleck has a thing about hipsters. Men from Brooklyn with beards have appropriated the banjo, the instrument he has spent his adult life perfecting, and used it for their own ends.

“They seem like latecomers to me,” says Fleck, 58, who since 1973, when he was given his first banjo by his grandfather, has taken the five-stringed instrument to previously unimagined heights of expertise and into unexplored musical territory. What began as a fascination with the bluegrass chops of Earl Scruggs has directed him over the past 35 years into many other areas of folk and blues music, as well as into jazz and even classical repertoire.

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