In the course of his staggering career, banjo maestro Béla Fleck has taken the instrument where it’s never gone before, and carried it back to its roots in West Africa. As a brash young explorer feeling his oats in the 1980s he added a jolt of energy to bluegrass as part of New Grass Revival. In the 1990s he attained rock star status as the leader of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, a brilliant communion of similarly self-invented instrumental masters. Since then he’s collaborated with a dazzling array of artists across the musical spectrum, garnering Grammy Award nominations in more categories than any other artist, ever. Whether he’s interpreting the classical Western canon with bassist Edgar Meyer, recording a series of revelatory sessions with a diverse array of African musicians, or joining the trio of piano great Marcus Roberts on his latest album Across the Imaginary Divide (Rounder), Fleck combines consummate musicianship with improvisational panache. His unprecedented SFJAZZ Center engagement finds him stretching out in the most unfettered setting, playing a series of solo recitals. With a vast universe of music at his fingertips, Fleck turns the banjo into a magic carpet capable of reaching just about any destination.