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David Royko Psy.D

Nine Year Old Noam Pikelny Meets Bela Fleck

This is a doozy, a truly historic shot, and a huge THANK YOU to Noam for letting me post this pic, taken by his father, Irv. On June 17, 1990, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones played Chicago's Navy Pier for the Flea Market, a free weekly concert series broadcast on Sundays by WBEZ, where 9-year-old future Punch Brother and banjo superstar Noam Pikelny (a banjo beginner at this point) met Bela for the first time (and where I also first met Noam and Irv - they were the only other people at the venue as early as I was). When I saw Noam after the Punch Brothers' Milwaukee Summerfest show (June 26, 2015), he told me that he'd just found this in an old album.

Bela Fleck (left) and Noam Pikelny, June 17, 1990, Navy Pier, Chicago. Photo by Irv Pikelny. Published with permission from Noam.