2014 Prize Winner: Eddie Adcock
Banjo player extraordinaire Eddie Adcock is the 2014 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize. Adcock has been one of bluegrass music’s most revolutionary performers for over fifty years. He cut his musical teeth with Bill Monroe and Mac Wiseman, and played in the groundbreaking group The Country Gentlemen, one of the most popular and progressive bluegrass bands of the late ’50s and ’60s.
His work with his wife, Martha Adcock, has garnered three Grammy nominations as well as appearances at the Kennedy Center. Adcock was the first internationally acclaimed five-string bluegrass banjo player to appear at Carnegie Hall. He was also inducted into the IBMA’s prestigious Hall of Honor.
At age 70, Adcock underwent brain surgery to correct a condition called “essential tremor” that hampered his ability to perform everyday tasks as well as play his beloved banjo. Remarkably, Adcock played the banjo throughout the procedure so the surgeon could repair the part of his brain that would allow him to continue to play.