2018 Prize Winner & Board Member: Kristin Scott Benson
Banjo player extraordinaire Kristin Scott Benson is the 2018 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize. Kristin Scott Benson is the four-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year (www.ibma.org). She has been a member of the Grammy-nominated bluegrass band, The Grascals (www.grascals.com), since 2008.
Kristin grew up in South Carolina, surrounded by a musical family. She started playing mandolin and stepped on stage for the first time at the age of five. After receiving a much-anticipated banjo for Christmas when she was thirteen, Kristin became enthralled with the instrument and spent her teen years studying the playing of all the banjo greats from Earl Scruggs to Bela Fleck. After high school, she attended Nashville’s esteemed Belmont University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BBA in Marketing and a minor in Music Business.
Kristin has attained a national identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player. In addition to her latest album Stringworks, Kristin has recorded two prior banjo albums, Straight Paths and Second Season. Both received stellar reviews, as well as an IBMA nomination for Instrumental of the Year for the self-penned, “Don’t Tread on Me”, on Second Season. After 13 years in Nashville, Kristin relocated back near her original home, in the Carolinas, where she lives with her husband and son.