It’s a rare opportunity for fans of American roots music to experience two modern masters of the banjo and fiddle together on one stage, performing a full set of originals and classics in a duo format. Following their spring/summer 2014 tour, GRAMMY® Award-nominated Noam Pikelny and 4-time GRAMMY® Award-winner Stuart Duncan hit the road again this October 2014 to appear at the following venues: Red Hat Amphitheater (Raleigh, NC: Oct. 4), Altamont Theatre (Asheville, NC: Oct. 5), Rams Head On Stage (Annapolis, MD:Oct. 7), Barns at Wolftrap (Vienna, VA: Oct. 8), Harvester Performance Center (Rocky Mount, VA: Oct. 10), Ridgefield Playhouse(Ridgefield, CT: Oct. 15), Colonial Theatre (Pittsfield, PA: Oct. 16), Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center (Sugar Loaf, NY: Oct. 17), andWKCTC Clemens Fine Arts Center (Paducah, KY: Oct. 18). Pikelny and lauded vocalist Aoife O’Donovan are also set to tour in November 2014; tour dates to be announced in the coming months. Interviews of Pikelny and Duncan are available upon request.
The sound of the fiddle and banjo in duet is one of the most compelling musical textures to emerge from American Folk Music, and through the years has most commonly been featured interstitially within the context of a larger ensemble show (i.e. when the guitar player breaks a string!). However, it is now taking center stage with these two giants of the genre once again touring in select markets. Both Pikelny and Duncan are undeniably among the foremost players on their respective instruments, often blurring the lines of what constitutes roots music in the 21st century. Winner of the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass (2010), Pikelny is a founding member of the Punch Brothers — a string ensemble hailed by the Boston Globe as “a virtuosic revelation,” and which The New Yorker describes as “wide-ranging and restlessly imaginative.” In 2012, his second solo release Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail received a GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Bluegrass Album.” His follow-up 2013 album, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, marks the first complete banjo adaptation of Kenny Baker’s 1976 seminal recording of Bill Monroeinstrumentals. The New York Times describes Noam’s reinvention of the classic Bluegrass canon as “a token of reverence, a feat of translation and a show of dominion.”
Over the last eight years with Punch Brothers, Pikelny has redefined the role of the banjo with his inimitable melodic work helping propel the instrument into mainstream music. Alongside Punch Brothers, he’s collaborated with the likes of Wilco, Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, and 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 Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis. He’s shared the stage with The Decemberists, Béla Fleck, Dave Douglas, Steve Martin, Marcus Mumford, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra.
Most notably known for his recent work on The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo Yo Ma, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer, consummate sideman Stuart Duncan has graced thousands of recording sessions over the course of his celebrated career. Duncan is a four-time GRAMMY® Award winner, a six-time Academy of Country Music award winner for “Fiddle Player of the Year,” and a winner of theInternational Bluegrass Music Association’s “Fiddle Player of the Year” award for seven consecutive years. His keen ability to masterfully shift between diverse styles has garnered opportunities to record/perform with Nashville’s biggest stars (Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton), bluegrass music’s finest pickers (Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Béla Fleck), and today’s top hit-makers (Jonas Brothers, Jewel, Brad Paisley).
“Stuart Duncan is the pinnacle of the American fiddle tradition,” says Pikelny. “He has so masterfully assimilated so many of the great fiddle traditions into his own singular style; he’s arrived at an utterly breathtaking intersection of finesse and soul. I’ve been lucky enough to get Stuart to play on my last two solo records and with that I could die a happy man. But we’ve been looking for an opportunity to make music together live, and finally found the opportunity, and decided it would be special to play as a duo. Fans can expect to get an intimate glimpse into the pairing of these two instruments — a real exploration of the fiddle and banjo sound.”
With the ever-changing landscape of the music business comes greater artistic independence, and some of today’s most lauded stars are aligning themselves side-by-side with longtime sidemen. No longer are prodigious sidemen only providing that imperative backbone and shining with unforgettable prowess when in the limelight; they are now in the foreground as co-billing recording and performing partners (i.e. Vince Gill & Paul Franklin’s Bakersfield). Social media platforms have also ushered in profound means and ways for eager fans to directly connect with their favorite players, bolstering the demand for sidemen to tour with their own projects. Pikelny and Duncan are of this ilk, and are ready to take the Americana music scene by storm as leaders of a new generation of exceptional bluegrass artists.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see these two virtuosos performing across the US this fall! For ticket information, please visit noampikelny.com/tour.
Noam Pikelny & Stuart Duncan 2014 Tour Dates:
October 4 – The Red Hat Amphitheater – Raleigh, NC
October 5 – The Altamont Theatre – Asheville, NC
October 7 – Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, MD
October 8 – Barns at Wolftrap – Vienna, VA
October 10 – Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount, VA
October 15 – The Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT
October 16 – Colonial Theatre – Pittsfield, MA
October 17 – Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center – Sugar Loaf, NY
October 18 – WKCTC Clemens Fine Arts Center – Paducah, KY