Mike Munford at WOB 2013

One of the most emotionally satisfying moments for me during last Thursday’s IBMA Awards presentation was seeing Mike Munford accept the Banjo Player of the Year trophy for 2013. Mike has been the “banjo players’ banjo player” for many years, but unless you ran in banjo circles, you might not know his name. Though having played and taught as his profession for the past 30 plus years, Munford has only come to widespread attention recently through his work with Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen.

We caught up with Mike on Saturday afternoon, while the glow of receiving this honor was still fresh, and he was clearly overwhelmed by having been chosen.


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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Mark Byrum

    Outstanding! Thanks, John, for that great interview; and congrats to Mike for the award and long overdue recognition. Keep at it!

  • Tony Bonta

    Great interview… thanks John.

    Mike is such an inspirational force in the local music community here in Baltimore. It’s so great to see him getting national attention like this and for others to see the level of enthusiasm that he has for the instrument and music in general. I love how he articulates what’s drawn him to the banjo. I still have a hard to time expressing that same feeling to others.

    We’re so fortunate to get to see and work with guy in our area on a regular basis.