Danny Banes Banjo player extraordinaire Danny Barnes is the 2015 recipient of the 6th annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Described as “one of a kind” and widely acknowledged as “one of the best banjo players in America,” Barnes is recognized for his experimental sound. The raw and unpolished musical breadth of his compositions has propelled him across the industry today.As a Texas native and one of bluegrass music’s most distinctive and innovative performers, Barnes is known for blending together different sounds in order to defy labeling. He frequently plays with artists such as guitarist Bill Frisell, Dave Matthews, and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz and has composed the scores to Richard Linklater’s, The Newton Boys and (with Frisell) the documentary American Hollow. Today he is working primarily on his solo-project, but sometimes tours with a trio also featuring Joe K Walsh and Grant Gordy. His upcoming album focuses on his most recent original works.