Sunday, September 11, 2016

The 2016 recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass is Rhiannon Giddens.

Rhiannon Giddens occupies a unique position in the world of banjo music, bridging contemporary and traditional forms and the cultures of three continents. Few musicians have done more to revitalize old-time sounds in the last decade. Drawing from blues, jazz, folk, hip-hop, traditional African, Celtic, and jug band music, she has brought tremendous vitality and artistry to her live and recorded performances.  Her work as a solo artist and with the Carolina Chocolate Drops has highlighted the banjo’s history as an African and an African-American instrument, and resurrected black string band music for a new generation.

Her musical career began with opera training at Oberlin College, then segued into Scottish and Celtic music, with a sideline in calling contra dances.  In 2005, Giddens attended the Black Banjo Gathering at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, a conference dedicated to exploring the roots of banjo music.  There, she met Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson, with whom she founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  The three started making weekly trips to play and study with veteran fiddler Joe Thompson. Albums, touring, and widespread acclaim ensued, including a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album for Genuine Negro Jig in 2011.  In recent years, she’s branched out into solo recording projects, including Tomorrow is My Turn, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Folk Album in 2016.  In addition to the contemporary five-string banjo, she has performed on gourd banjo, nineteenth-century minstrel banjo, and the three-stringed African akonting.  She has emerged as a multi-instrumentalist who is passionate about bringing the sound and feel of old-time black string bands into the twenty-first century.  Along the way, she has become a historian as well as a musician.

For more information about Rhiannon Giddens, visit

Monday, June 06, 2016

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell have won the Drama Desk Award for "Best Music" (Bright Star)!

Bright Star is playing now at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. For ticket info, visit


Friday, May 27, 2016

Learn 3-finger and clawhammer style banjo parts for the musical, “Bright Star,” written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell with the Bright Star banjo app.

Available for free in the iTunes App Store. Click here for more details.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Director Ang Lee brings his extraordinary vision to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, based on the widely-acclaimed, bestselling novel. The film, in theaters November 11, is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions. The film also stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel, and Steve Martin. Lee used new technology, shooting at an ultra-high frame rate for the first time in film history, to create an immersive digital experience helping him dramatize war in a way never seen before.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bright Star wins Best Musical and Best Score from Outer Critics Circle!

Bright Star is playing now at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. For ticket info, visit

Bright Star - Outer Critics Circle - Best Musical

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Bright Star has been nominated for 5 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Actress, Best Book, Best Score, and Best Orchestrations.

Bright Star is playing now at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. For ticket info, visit


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A live song from Bright Star on the Today show!

Bright Star has been nominated for 7 Outer Critics Circle awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Actress! Click here for the complete list of nominations.

Bright Star is playing now at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. For ticket info, visit


Friday, April 01, 2016

Go behind the scenes of So Familiar in Part 6 of legendary producer Peter Asher's "Getting Familiar" series. Find out more about the track "I Had A Vision".

Get So Familiar at: Amazon | iTunes

Friday, March 25, 2016

Check out the March 24 New York Times review of 'Bright Star': "'Bright Star' Beams Nostalgia Underscored by Fiddles and Banjos". Click here to read it.