Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio performed June 22 at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. (Photo by Hans Lehndorff)

Telluride Town Park, 6:30 p.m., June 22 – This is why I return to Telluride each June and have for most of the past three decades: To hear something I’ve never heard before and have my ears and my mind blow by brilliance. A chill is still coursing up my spine as I blog and listen to Del McCoury. Genre-bending banjoist Bela Fleck joined Marcus Roberts – one of the greatest living jazz pianists – for a set of original compositions that were breathtaking in their complexity with bits of bebop overlaid with ragtime and stride. There was even an encore that featured Scruggs-style banjo as well as Roberts matching Fleck note for note. The trio included a superior drummer and bassist that drove the joyous ramble. There were enough cool musical ideas crammed into one set to last a year of recollection. At the end, the audience stood and appreciated something unlike they’d ever heard. We’re all grateful that Fleck has the curiosity and courage to bring a project like this to a festival that has always celebrated the best in American (and global) sounds. Next up is John Fogerty who has brought in enough sound and stage equipment to play a stadium. It should be again something completely different and cool.

Many of the sets from this year’s festival are being streamed at