Arts and Entertainment

Bee Eaters return to Bainbridge

The Bee Eaters will play Bainbridge Performing Arts Feb. 5. - Courtesy photo
The Bee Eaters will play Bainbridge Performing Arts Feb. 5.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Bee Eaters are a new sound.

What banjo player Wesley Corbett calls “not a standard instrumentation,” others are hailing as “new acoustic” and the best of this generation’s ‘string nation.’

The group, including its two Bainbridge Island natives, will play at Bainbridge Performing Arts at 7:30 tonight.

Corbett, of Bainbridge, is joined in the group by islander Simon Chrisman at the hammered dulcimer and six-time Grand National Fiddle champs Tristan and Tashina Clarridge. They recently released a debut CD, produced by fiddle legend Darol Anger, to critical acclaims.

Corbett picked up the banjo at age 16. Now 23, he has toured internationally with North Carolina bluegrass band The Biscuit Burners. He’s also a member of Joy Kills Sorrow.

Chrisman, 29, has been collaborating with Corbett for the better part of a decade. He’s creating buzz in the music world on an instrument often considered limited.

Combined with the Clarridge siblings, the four worked phonetically to achieve a sound now earning raves.

At times it is ethereal, while at other moments their notes seem to tell an epic tale. Reviewers have called them a “strange and wondrous new species.”

“We had to work really hard to get a full sound,” Corbett said. “We play music that isn’t attached to any one particular subset of the folk genre, but it’s definitely attached to that kind of music.”

Together more than three years, the Bee Eaters are now on a month-long tour, playing 100-200 seat venues. They return to Bainbridge after a year since their last show on the island.

The Bee Eaters appear Friday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m., one night only at BPA. Tickets for the show are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, youth, military, and teachers. They can be purchased online at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at (206) 842-8569 or in person at BPA, 200 Madison Avenue North. BPA Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and one hour prior to each performance. The performance includes two 45-minute sets with one 15-minute intermission. Learn more at www.beeeaters.com.

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