Steve Martin’s Prize for Excellence In Banjo Awarded to Jens Kruger

JENS KRUGERThe Kruger Brothers have announced the 2013 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo has been awarded to their own banjo player extraordinaire Jens Kruger.

Martin's annual award recognizes an individual or group for "outstanding accomplishments in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music".

The Kruger Brothers have made tremendous positive impressions about bluegrass music by writing and performing classical pieces with full orchestras around the world.

The Steve Martin Prize is chosen by a who’s who list of talents including Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick, Tony Trishchka, Bela Fleckand more.

The  Kruger Brothers trio consists of Jens Kruger (banjo, harmony vocals), Uwe Kruger (guitar, lead and harmony vocals) and Joel Landsberg (bass, harmony vocals).

Originally from Switzerland, where the trio first formed, Jens Kruger and Uwe Kruger later moved to the United States  The brothers began playing North American folk music at an early age and were particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music.

An important hallmark of the Kruger Brothers sound is the banjo playing and composition of Jens Kruger. Happy Traum has described Kruger as "one of the world's most musically sophisticated and technically accomplished five-string banjo players."  

Kruger plays in a melodic style that, while it may stem from the three-finger style popularized by Snuffy Jenkins and Earl Scruggs, is also differentiated by long melodic passages and a more complex compositional style, often taking on jazz or classical themes and techniques.

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