2010 Prize Winner: Noam Pikelny
Noam Pikelny is the first recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize and has emerged as the preeminent banjoist of his generation, and the greatest color-blind banjoist of all-time. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “pros’ top banjo picker,” Noam is a founding member of Punch Brothers, a string ensemble which The Boston Globe calls “a virtuosic revelation” and The New Yorker describes as “wide- ranging and restlessly imaginative.” In September of 2010, Pikelny was awarded the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.
Pikelny is a 3-time Grammy Award Nominee and his most recent release, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, was described by the New York Times as “a token of reverence, a feat of translation and a show of dominion”. The album is widely considered a landmark recording in acoustic music, and was named “Album of the Year” at the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards.