Expect the “pros’ top banjo picker,” (Chicago Tribune) with America’s favorite fiddler when Noam and Stuart hit the stage at the Dakota.
About Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan
NOAM PIKELNY has emerged as the preeminent banjoist among a new generation of acoustic musicians. 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. In 2012, Noam’s second album, Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Pikelny has shared the stage with The Decemberists, Marcus Mumford, Béla Fleck, Dave Douglas, Steve Martin, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra. Noam continues to broaden the awareness of the banjo in the mainstream through his work with Punch Brothers, collaborating with Wilco, Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, & Jon Brion for the soundtrack to “This is 40”, a feature song on “The Hunger Games” soundtrack, and a collaboration with Marcus Mumford for the upcoming Coen Brothers’ film, “Inside Llewyn Davis”.
His new release, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, is the first complete banjo adaptation of Kenny Baker’s 1976 seminal recording of Bill Monroe instrumentals that is poised to take the bluegrass world by storm. The concept for the album first grew out of the word-play on the original album title, but the more Pikelny explored the idea, the more he realized that it was both musically exciting and challenging. Pikelny delved into the intricacies of Kenny Baker’s fiddle playing and emerged with note for note versions of Baker’s fiddle arrangements for banjo. Joining Pikelny on this tour de force project are the finest instrumentalists in bluegrass: Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Bryan Sutton (guitar), Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), and Mike Bub (bass). Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe shows Pikelny at a new pinnacle of maturation as a banjo player and musician, redefining the role of the banjo in his own way with an unprecedented approach to melodic playing and therefore setting a new standard in bluegrass for years to come.
Multi-Instrumentalist Stuart Duncan has built upon his bluegrass roots to become an artist that defies categorization and surpasses the limits of any specific genre. The consummate sideman, Stuart has lent his particular taste and tone to countless artists and projects. Whether trading dizzying instrumental licks with the likes of Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas, or adding complimentary fills for vocalists Alan Jackson and Barbra Streisand, Stuart has found a professional “home” both in the studio and on tour. From Robert Plant to Panic! At The Disco, Stuart’s playing and influence can be heard among many of today’s top hit-makers.
When not active in the studio or on tour with others, Stuart can be seen and heard with the Nashville Bluegrass Band, where he has been a contributing member since 1985. The band has won two Grammies, multiple IBMA & SPBMA awards, and has toured globally from here at home to the Middle East and China.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
Noam won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass. Here’s the humorous “Funny or Die”studio session w/ Noam and Steve demonstrating why Noam does not sing on his recordings.