“PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains: Give Me the Banjo”
Narrated by Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, Give Me the Banjo 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 explores American music from minstrelsy, ragtime and blues, to folk and bluegrass. In addition to musicians, a mix of folklorists, historians, instrument makers and passionate amateurs tells stories of America’s instrument in all its richness and diversity. Rare stills, first-hand narratives, archival footage and recordings of historic banjo figures surround and expand on the expert commentary.
AIRS Friday, November 4 at 9 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS