Narrated by Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, the film explores the roots of American music — the minstrel show, ragtime and early jazz, blues, old-time, folk, bluegrass and country. It is a story of America’s quintessential musical instrument from its African slavery roots to the 21st century, featuring performances and commentary from contemporary folk musicians such as Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, Taj Mahal, Béla Fleck and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as from leading music historians, instrument builders and collectors. Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash hosts. GIVE ME THE BANJO is produced and directed by Marc Fields with Michael Kantor as executive producer. Tony Trischka is co-producer and music director. The evening’s presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station UNC-TV (North Carolina).
Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and country music royalty Rosanne Cash, whose music spans many genres, from country and folk to blues, rock and pop, will host the program. Daughter of the late legend Johnny Cash, she has sung with banjo legend Earl Scruggs, who is featured prominently in the broadcast. In addition to introducing the show, Cash will talk with country music star Rodney Crowell about the influence of banjo music on their individual styles.
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