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Steve Martin, Pete Seeger Among 2015 Banjo Hall of Fame Honorees

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American Banjo Museum Hall of FameThe American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City is pleased to announce the 2015 inductees into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include Steve Martin, the late Pete Seeger, Eddy Davis, Tim Allan and Albert Grover. The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to honor jazz age four-string banjo pioneers as well as the contemporary artists, educators, manufacturers and promoters who carried on the traditions of their predecessors. The American Banjo Museum was, in its infancy, an extension of that Hall of Fame. In the years preceding 2014, the Hall of Fame honored 71 individuals and entities in the four-string banjo world whose career accomplishments might have otherwise gone unrecognized. As the museum grew and evolved to embrace all types of banjos and playing styles, it became clear that the Hall of Fame should evolve as well.

As such, in 2013, the ABM Board of Directors voted to establish an annual performance category to honor all styles of five-string banjo playing as well as opening the other previously four-string banjo exclusive categories to all types of banjos. With this move the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame was established. Suggestions for nomination in the categories of Four-String Performance, Five-String Performance, Education & Instruction, Design & Manufacture and Promotion may be made by any member of the ABM association. Based on these suggestions, nominations are made by the Board of Directors and are then forwarded to the voting body - which consists of the museum board, living members of the Hall of Fame and lifetime members of the ABM association. Like past recipients, Hall of Fame honorees for 2015 have each displayed a lifelong commitment to the banjo in one of five categories.

The American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are:

EDDY DAVIS - Four-String Performance
Eddy DavisA 2006 inductee for Promotion based on the world-wide recognition he brings to the banjo through his concert and film appearances (most notably with actor/musician Woody Allen), Davis is equally recognized as a banjo player, vocalist and performer. From his college days as a member of the original Salty Dogs, to years on the Chicago nightlife scene, to forays in the banjo nightclubs of the 1960s and 70s, to his acceptance as an integral part of the vibrant ongoing jazz fabric of Manhattan, the performance career of Eddy Davis is unique and worthy of recognition.
PETE SEEGER - Five-String Performance
Pete SeegerPete Seeger was one of the most
influential figures in the rebirth of the banjo in the years following WWII. A veteran of the Almanac Singers (with Woody Guthrie) and The Weavers, Seeger was a major force in elevating the awareness and popularity of traditional American folk music in the 1940s and 50s. His long neck banjo became the prerequisite visual dynamic of any 1960s folk group while his landmark 1948 release of How To Play The Five-String Banjo became the most widely available and utilized banjo tutor to a couple of generations of aspiring banjoists. Developing into an iconic presence in later years, Seeger continued to perform and inspire social consciousness until his death in 2013 at the age of 94.
STEVE MARTIN - Promotion
Steve MartinAn Academy Award winning actor and comedian, Steve Martin has presented the banjo to millions of people around the world in the most positive manner possible. From his earliest days as a stand-up comic - using the banjo primarily as a prop, to his recent recognition as the serious banjoist that he is, Martin has taken every opportunity to utilize his star power for the betterment of the banjo and its perception in modern culture. While he humbly refers to himself as “just another banjo player,” his unique efforts in the promotion of the banjo have made the instrument not only acceptable, but desirable among today’s mainstream music and entertainment audiences.
TIM ALLAN - Instruction & Education
Tim AllanA 2002 Hall of Fame inductee in the category of Performance, Tim Allan has devoted considerable skill and effort to the banjo education of others throughout his entire career. Allan has written and published numerous instruction methods as well as transcribing hundreds of solos in chord diagram form. He is a regular contributor to publications such as ALL FRETS and The Resonator and is a sought after clinician at banjo events around the world. Additionally, through his private instruction - both in person and via the internet, Allan has guided many aspiring banjoists to productive and fulfilling levels of banjo performance.
ALBERT GROVER - Design & Manufacture
Albert GroverAlthough his name never appeared on a banjo peg head, the ultimate perfection of various maker’s banjo designs during the 1920s, 30s and beyond could not have taken place without Albert Grover. His manufacturing company supplied hardware, parts and accessories to virtually every major banjo maker. Tuning pegs, tailpieces, and bridges which DO bear the Grover name are found on instruments made by Gibson, Bacon, Weymann, Ludwig, Paramount, Vega and others. Additionally, accessories such a tone enhancers, mutes, and other hardware and accessories too numerous to mention gained Grover more banjo patents that any other individual.

Eddy Davis, Pete Seeger, Steve Martin, Tim Allan and Albert Grover will be inducted into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame during ceremonies to be held on Friday, September 11th, 2014 in Oklahoma City. The following day, informal performances by Hall of Fame members - both past and present - along with other performers will take place at the American Banjo Museum.

During their visit, Hall of Fame weekend guests will enjoy recent additions to ABM exhibits including a tribute to the international nightclub chain known as Your Father’s Mustache as well as a brand new exhibit spotlighting the banjo ukulele and its important role in banjo’s colorful evolution during the Jazz Age and beyond.

The weekend will also provide visitors a chance to learn more about the progress of the ABM’s “This Joint is Jumpin’” campaign currently in progress. Well on the way to reaching its $5 million goal, the campaign is aimed at allowing the American Banjo Museum to share the music, history and heritage of the banjo with generations yet to come.

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