It will surely be a jazzy evening as the man heralded as the Michael Jordan of the bass performs in Salt Lake City with his band tonight.
Victor Wooten is a five-time Grammy award winner, three-time Bass Player Magazine’s Bassist of the Year award winner and was recently named 10th greatest bass player of all time by Rolling Stone. He and his 1988 fusion band, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, will perform in concert at Red Butte Garden tonight. The Flecktones will appear alongside Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. Tickets are $47 for the public.
At only 2 years old, Victor Wooten was taught to play the bass guitar by his brother. By 6, he was playing for crowds in the family band. With his famous Fodera bass, a 1983 Monarch Deluxe which Wooten has named “Number 1,” he has changed the face of the bass in the music world.
Fifteen years ago, Wooten created his solo album, “A Show Of Hands,” which featured only Wooten playing bass with no overdubs. Because this type of album had previously only been done by guitarists and pianists, “A Show Of Hands” was revolutionary and helped to raise the credibility of the bass guitar. Wooten recently reissued the album which has been re-mastered with three additional bonus tracks, according to a news release.
Despite Wooten’s widespread fame, Griffen Buckley, senior in information systems, is not a fan. Buckley has played all of the instruments in a rock and roll band, from keyboard, to drums, bass and guitar, from the time he was 14.
“He plays in major key a lot and I do not like any music in major key,” Buckley said. “I am intrigued by the complexities of music in minor keys. But he is a solo artist, which usually bass players don’t get to do. I’m sure there is a market for him.”
Buckley said Wooten plays the bass with his fingers rather than a pick, like most bassists, which produces a different type of sound comparative to music from “Seinfeld.”
In 1988, Wooten teamed up with banjoist Béla Fleck, percussionist Futureman and pianist and harmonica player Howard Levy to create Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. The group’s style is described as progressing bluegrass jazz fusion.
According to Red Butte Garden’s concert website, the Flecktones have recently incorporated African instruments into their sound. They have been nominated for awards in several genres because of their variety, and their audiences are just as diverse as their music.