Steve Martin Banjo Prize handed out
COUNTRY STANDARD TIME
HomeNewsInterviewsCD ReleasesCD ReviewsConcertsArtistsArchive
 

Steve Martin Banjo Prize handed out

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 – The Steve Martin Banjo Prize went to banjo veteran Alan Munde and Don Vappie, a New Orleans-based musician.

The second annual edition of the prize recognizes "excellence across the spectrum of banjo styles," according to a press release. Munde plays 5-string, while Vappie is part of the 4-string jazz traditions. Each will receive an unrestricted check for $25,000.

"I am so proud to have my name on the new, expanded banjo prize, with its wider scope and broader considerations," said Martin. "The world of the banjo is expanding, and our goal is to bring it under one roof."

Martin will introduce viewers the winners on the Deering Banjo Company's livestream channel, Deering Live, to be followed by a video feature of each winner together with interviews and live performance, as well as remarks from Wynton Marsalis and Sam Bush at 6:30 p.m. eastern today. Deering Live will also be available to view on the Facebook pages of the following co-sponsors and friends of the prize: The FreshGrass Festival, Compass Records, No Depression, Folk Alley and The International Bluegrass Music Association.

Munde launched his professional career in the late 1960s playing with bluegrass legend Jimmy Martin. He went on to join the Flying Burrito Brothers, and later The Country Gazette, whose members included fiddler Byron Berline. A master of both traditional and melodic styles with a discography of over 20 recordings, Munde has influenced generations of bluegrass banjo players, including progressive stylists Béla Fleck, Alison Brown and Noam Pikelny.

Vappie, a Creole cultural expert, began playing at Preservation Hall in the late '80s and for over 25 years has appeared regularly with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He has presented educational programs for Carnegie Hall, NPR and the Smithsonian Institution, recorded eight albums, and composed music for film and television, including Treme and American Creole: New Orleans Reunion, a PBS documentary which he co-produced and in which he was also featured.

Originally conceived of and launched in 2010 by comedian and banjo ace Steve Martin, the Steve Martin Banjo Prize for Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass put $500,000 into the banjo community over the course of a decade with an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to a master bluegrass or old-time banjo player.

Winners included some of the instrument's brightest stars: Rhiannon Giddens, Noam Pikelny, Jens Kruger and Kristin Scott Benson.

At the end of 2019, having fulfilled its initial mission of giving 10 awards, Martin and the board determined that the Banjo Prize needed a new vision and infrastructure to move forward. Sponsored by The FreshGrass Foundation, The Steve Martin Charitable Foundation and The Compass Records Group, the new Steve Martin Banjo Prize recognizes outstanding achievement across all styles of 5- and 4-string banjo with an unrestricted cash award. Current board members include Steve Martin, Alison Brown, Béla Fleck, Noam Pikelny, Anne Stringfield, Tony Trischka, Pete Wernick, Johnny Baier, Kristin Scott Benson, Roger Brown, Jaime Deering, Dom Flemons, Paul Schiminger, Chris Wadsworth and Garry West.


More news for Steve Martin


CD reviews for Steve Martin

CD review - Rare Bird Alert Following up their 2009 Grammy Award winning "The Crow," Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers present another stellar bluegrass release. With this one, Martin stretches his musical wings by writing or co-writing all of the songs and brings along his trademark brand of humor as well. This features the same outstanding instrumentals supplied by the exceptional Steep Canyon Rangers, and, of course, Martin on banjo, but also includes a much more vocal and lyrical presence to enjoy. ...
CD review - The Crow: New Songs For The Five-String Banjo Although primarily known for his award-winning work as an actor, writer and stand-up comedian, Steve Martin is also a talented five-string banjo player with a lifelong love affair with the instrument. Martin played the banjo on his comedy albums in the late 1970s and made guest appearances on more recent recordings from other artists including Earl Scruggs and Tony Trischka, but his relationship with the instrument was never officially consummated on-record until this debut full-length musical ...


©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher • countrystandardtime@gmail.com
AboutCopyrightNewsletterOur sister publication Standard Time
Subscribe to Country Music News Country News   Subscribe to Country Music CD Reviews CD Reviews   Follow us on  Twitter    Instagram    Facebook