Originally published November 2, 2011 at 10:56 a.m., updated November 20, 2013 at 4:42 p.m.
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). This program originally aired in 2011.