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Published on Jun 14, 2012
The banjo has been an emblem of American culture for centuries, yet few realize the instrument's complicated, checkered past. Narrated by Steve Martin and featuring such banjo masters as Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs and Bela Fleck, GIVE ME THE BANJO goes beyond the stereotypes and delves into the musical odyssey of the banjo, from its African roots to the present day. Brought to the New World by enslaved Africans, the banjo has shaped many American musical forms: the minstrel show, ragtime, and early jazz, old-time folk and the folk revival, as well as blues, bluegrass, country and world music. Packed with great music, this documentary brings together a wide variety of banjo experts "including music historians, instrument-makers, folklorists, and players of all styles" and profiles past greats such as Charlie Poole and Gus Cannon to celebrate the cultural richness of America's quintessential musical instrument.