Banjo Player Steve Martin To Receive Honour

Steve MartinSteve Martin is one of five renowned artists to receive an Honour to mark the 30th Annual Kennedy Center Gala which takes place on Sunday, December 2, 2007. The actual awards will be bestowed the night before the gala on Saturday, December 1, at a State Department dinner, hosted by the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts have announced the selection of the individuals who will receive the Kennedy Center Honours of 2007. The recipients to be honoured at the 30th annual national celebration of the arts are: banjo player, comedian, actor and writer (not necessarily in that order, of course) Steve Martin, pianist Leon Fleisher, singer Diana Ross, film director Martin Scorsese, and songwriter Brian Wilson.

Steve Martin is famous for his appearance in such films as Three Amigos (1986), Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), Parenthood (1989), Father Of The Bride (1991) and The Pink Panther (2006), along with countless others, and a string of TV programmes going back to 1967.

Martin initiated an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in September 2005 in which he was joined by fellow banjo players Earl Scruggs, Peter Wernick, Tony Ellis and Charles Wood for a banjo extravaganza Men With Banjos (Who Know How To Use Them) originally organised for the New Yorker Festival 2005.

Also, Martin has appeared this year on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Late Show with David Letterman playing the banjo with Tony Trischka on a tune, The Crow, that he wrote for Trischka’s recently released CD Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular (Rounder 0548), an album on which Martin is featured.

Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said of Martin, “Steve Martin is a Renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines.”

CBS will broadcast a recording of The Gala on Wednesday, December 26 at 9pm (EST)

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.