Mike Munford, reigning IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, was profiled in today’s edition of his hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun.
The piece by features writer Wesley Case follows Mike from his first exposure to the 5 string at 15 years of age, through his acceptance of the IBMA award 40 years later.
From the article…
How does the underdog finally hoist the championship? For Munford, his journey to the peak of bluegrass excellence began at age 15, when he was a student at Boys’ Latin School of Maryland. One day, a friend up the street invited Munford over to check out his new toy, a banjo. Unfamiliar with the instrument but intrigued, Munford followed, and to this day, he still vividly remembers the moment he fell in love with the banjo.
“He played ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown,'” Munford said, recalling the album was “Live at Kansas State” by banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs. “I said, ‘I don’t care what I do — you have to show me how to do that because that’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.”
Thus began Munford’s love affair with the banjo. He says his parents, who still live in the same Roland Park house where Munford was raised, listened to classical music and his older brother liked the Beatles. But neither produced sounds that struck him like the quick notes of the banjo.
Any Munford or banjo fan will want to read the whole piece.
The Sun also created this video of Mike playing and talking about his life with the banjo.