The American Made Banjo Company has made us aware of a major new television documentary called The Banjo Project. It details the history of America’s quintessential musical instrument, tracing its 250 year path from its African roots to the present day.
The documentary is written and produced by Marc Fields and narrated by Steve Martin. Tony Trischka is the musical producer. It brings together contemporary players in all styles including Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Don Vappie, Cynthia Sayer, Steve Martin and others including folklorists, historians, instrument makers and passionate amateurs all of whom tell the story of America’s instrument in all its richness and diversity.
The piano may do for lovesick girls who lace themselves to skeletons, and lunch on chalk, pickles, and slate pencils. But give me the banjo… When you want genuine music, music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whiskey ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo – Mark Twain, 1865.
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, from its African roots to the 21st century. It’s a collaboration between Emmy-winning writer-producer Marc Fields and banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka one of the most acclaimed acoustic musicians of his generation.
Full details on the Banjo Project Website.