Steve Martin Narrates PBS Documentary on Banjos!
“Give Me The Banjo”
Airs November 4th on PBS
The Banjo Project: The Story of America’s Instrument is a trans-media cultural odyssey: “Give Me the Banjo,” a major television documentary airing nationally on PBS in November 2011, a DVD with extra performances and scenes, a live stage/multi-media performance and a resource website that will chronicle the journey of America’s quintessential instrument—the banjo—from its African roots to the 21stcentury.
Narrated by Steve Martin, “Give Me the Banjo” brings together contemporary players in all styles—Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mike Seeger, Don Vappie and Abigail Washburn, among many others—with folklorists, historians, instrument makers and passionate amateurs to tell the story of America’s instrument in all its richness and diversity.
- Writer/Producer/Director: Marc Fields Co-producer and Music Director: Tony Trischka
Videographer: Bruce Petschek
Editor: Tim Raycroft
Camera/grip: Matt Beals,Trevor Chamberlain, Shaun Clarke, Julian Petschek, Lynn Weissman, Susu Wing, Tim Wojcik
Asst.editor: Nikki Bramley, Dan Leich
Web design: Fred Ehmann
Social media: Shaun Clarke
- Produced By: Marc Fields
The 82 minutes that will air on PBS next week is only a “Pledge-Break” Snippet of the full work. What will happen to the wealth of musical and historical content that won’t fit into the broadcast program? It becomes the foundation for a web-based archive and cultural gathering place for exchanging knowledge and news about the banjo, thanks to a new media grant from Mass Humanities! Over the next 18 months,The Banjo Project website will expand to include interactive features like a timeline and map of banjo history, searchable video interview and performance clips, and user-generated content.
Tony Triscka and Steve Martin have been teaming up for a major television documentary called “The Banjo Project” to chronicle the journey of the banjo from it’s African roots to the 21st century. The Banjo Project is a cross-media cultural odyssey: a major television documentary, a live stage/multi-media performance, and a website that chronicle the journey of America’s quintessential instrument—the banjo.
It’s a collaboration between Emmy-winning writer-producer Marc Fields and banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka (the Project’s Music Director), one of the most acclaimed acoustic musicians of his generation.
Fundraising efforts to finish the project are nearing the group’s goals but additional funds can be used to enhance the production with better quality archival footage. Donations can be made securely through the project website at: Thebanjoproject
This story was collected from several stories originally posted on the Prescription Bluegrass Blog.