20 August 2020

The Steve Martin Banjo Prize

Bluegrass Today reports that the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass, after a decade of annual awards, will be thoroughly reorganised in its administrative and award structure, in its title, and in its scope.

Steve Martin will remain as chairman emeritus, with the Freshgrass Foundation and the Compass Records group as partners with seats on the board. A full list of board members is given on Bluegrass Today. The annual award has been $50,000 up to now; this year it will be divided between five banjo-players, in recognition of 2020's difficulties. In future, a grant of $25,000 will be given to one or more players each year.

And in future, its title will be simply 'The Steve Martin Banjo Prize'. Bluegrass Today reports: '... it will no longer be limited to bluegrass and the five string. Banjo players in any style are eligible, and the board intends to honor important contributors from all areas of banjodom.' The prize sculpture by Eric Fischl is shown above.

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