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Steve Martin finds too many good banjo players

NEW YORK (AP/KTSA News) — Actor Steve Martin may stop giving out his bluegrass prize because there are just too many people who are good at playing.

Nineteen-year-old Victor Furtado is the latest — and possibly last — winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. He gets a sculpture and a $50,000 prize.

Martin started the prize after noticing some great musicians were still paying off their banjos.

(We found some selling in excess of $4,600 at the Guitar Center website. Some go for around 150 bucks)

The prize has been given out every year since 2010. Martin is quite a picker in his own right. He’s won several Grammy Awards for his Bluegrass recordings to go with his comedy albums.

He says in the 1960s, great players were rare, but now the prize board is overwhelmed with the number of qualified musicians. Martin is hoping some entity will take over administering the prize.


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