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Tony Trischka

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Tony was born in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1949, and raised in a home filled with music.

He moved to NYC in the early ’70s, settling in among a peer group of young masters like mandolinist Andy Statman and fiddler Kenny Kosek, in such units as Country Cooking and Breakfast Special, Tony found his purpose.

For his 1993 release, World Turning, Tony’s reputation and goodwill allowed him to retain the services of champion company, here including Grisman, Parks, the Official Violent Femmes Alison Krauss R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Bill Berry, and even beat icon William Burroughs. That project became an essential source of inspiration for Marc Fields’ comprehensive 2011 documentary, Give Me the Banjo, which Steve Martin narrated and for which Trischka acted as musical director and co-producer.

He’s raised the banjo’s profile in many other ways as well. Through his theme song for Books on the Air and performances on A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, From Our Front Porch and other programs, he’s been a frequent presence on NPR. His work with his pal Steve Martin has helped the banjo gain a wider audience and deeper understanding.

Tony’s Grammy-nominated album Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, released in 2007, and Great Big World, from 2014, feature Martin within a mix of veterans and up-and-coming luminaries. He produced Martin’s Grammy-nominated Rounder album from 2011, Rare Bird Alert, which touts performances by the Steep Canyon Rangers, Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.

In addition to his Grammy nominations, Tony has earned a number of honours over the years, including the International Bluegrass Music Award for Banjo Player of the Year in 2007, and he was named a United States Artists Friends Fellow in 2012.