Bassist and Composer Edgar Meyers turns 61 today. His wide range of musical interests has won awards in a variety of genres. Growing up in Tennessee, Meyer learned to play the double bass from his father, a director of the string orchestra program in the local school system.

Meyer went on to study at Indiana University and the Aspen Music School. At Aspen he met Bela Fleck and this would turn into a rewarding musical contact. Fleck assisted Meyer on his first four solo albums and together the pair recorded more albums, with 2001’s Perpetual Motion winning two Grammys.

Edgar Meyer was recognized for his skilled musicianship and gift for composition with a MacArthur Award in 2002.

Edgar Meyer was introduced to Jerry Douglas and Mark O’Connor through his collaboration with Bela Fleck and along with Sam Bush they formed the bluegrass band Strength in Numbers. The band was generally categorized as new grass but drew heavily from jazz influences.  Meyer’s collaboration with O’Connor and Yo-Yo Ma on the album Appalachian Journey won a Grammy in the Classical Crossover category

Later, his  collaboration with those two plus Chris Thile in the Goat Rodeo Sessions produced more Grammys. The group has released two albums separated by about a decade. The term goat rodeo refers to a chaotic event where many things must go right for the situation to work, a reference to the unusual and challenging aspects of blending classical and bluegrass music.

Photo Credit: Jim McGuire