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Two is One: An Afternoon with Chick Corea & Bela Fleck

Rob Davidson

As noted on our website, Chick Corea was a learner until the very end. In the Autumn of 2015 Chick came to the Yamaha Studios in New York to learn and burn with master banjoist Bela Fleck. Their shared inspiration was a a marvel to witness. Sometimes intense, sometimes light as a feather, we share that afternoon for your enjoyment and engagement with one of our recently departed masters - Chick Corea.

Here's the first or four segments of that special day.

Credit Rob Davidson
The Yamaha Studios in NYC

Chick and Bela were a constant and delightful challenge for one another. Hear how they came together, and how Chick inspired a romantic enchantment out of an unlikely instrument - the banjo.

Segment two of Gary Walker's 2015 interview at Yamaha Studios in NYC with Chick Corea and Bela Fleck

Credit Rob Davidson
WBGO morning host Gary Walker in 2015 with Chick Corea and Bela Fleck

Chick Corea’s creativity in the duo setting is legendary - with Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, and here, Bela Fleck. Each with an exclusivity in spirit, never a tension convention for what’s happening next. Rather, as you’ll hear, more of a relaxed ride down a road at sunset.

Segment three of Gary Walker's sit down with Chick Corea and Bela Fleck in 2015

Credit Rob Davidson
Chick Corea enjoying his musical talents and stories with Bela Fleck and Gary Walker

That New York afternoon at the Yamaha Studios was at its brightest as Chick chatted about Bela’s introducing him to the world of Bluegrass music. Two disparate musical souls came together, seamlessly merging jazz and bluegrass for a trip up the mountain. When they reached the peak, I was left with eager anticipation of their next exploration together.

Fourth and final segment of WBGO morning host Gary Walker with Chick Corea and Bela Fleck in NYC

In jazz radio, great announcers are distinguished by their ability to convey the spontaneity and passion of the music. Gary Walker is such an announcer, and his enthusiasm for this music greets WBGO listeners every morning. This winner of the 1996 Gavin Magazine Jazz Radio Personality of the Year award has hosted the morning show each weekday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. And, by his own admission, he's truly having a great time.