Steve Martin has announced that Noam Pikelny, current banjoist with Punch Brothers, has joined the Board which selects the recipients of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. Noam had been the inaugural prize winner in 2010.
Martin founded this award with his wife, Anne Stringfied, in order to bring added prominence to 5 stringers within the wider music community. He funds the annual $50,000 prize from his Steve Martin Charitable Foundation, and leads the Board which bestows it.
Other members include Pete Wernick, J.D. Crowe, Béla Fleck, Allison Brown, Tony Trischka, Anne Stringfied, and Neil Rosenberg. Noam will participate in the choosing of the 2015 recipient, which has typically been announced in early September.
The Foundation has been established to ensure funding for these efforts long after Steve, and the initial Board members are gone. A mechanism exists to add new selectors as others pass, as Crowe was brought in after the death of Earl Scruggs.
Last year’s award went to Eddie Adcock. Prior winners include Sammy Shelor, Jens Kruger and Mark Johnson.
Can’t wait to learn who takes the prize this year!