You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

High Five

Tony Trischka and unique players

Tony Trischka.

Tony Trischka.

When the Banjo Summit comes to Sanders Theatre on Thursday, it brings with it a veritable who’s who of the instrument’s pioneers and those who will carry the torch. We recently asked Tony Trischka , who’s in the lineup, to reflect on five of his tour mates and what makes them unique players.

1. Bill Keith “He revolutionized banjo playing in the early ’60s [as part of a Boston-based bluegrass duo with Jim Rooney and as a member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys]. He spread his melodic style around the world and basically reinvented banjo. Half the stuff I do and Béla [Fleck] does, we wouldn’t be doing without Bill.”

Continue reading below

2. Béla Fleck “He’s another trailblazer. He broke the gentleman’s agreement on how good you could get on the banjo. You can be good, but not that good. Playing what Béla does, you really have to spend years working on various techniques. He did things that hadn’t even been considered before.”

3. Abigail Washburn “She’s a triple threat because she plays the banjo, she sings amazingly, and she sings in English and Chinese. She creates a whole world when she sings; you lose the sense of where you are. In a relaxed way, she’s very powerful with the mood and setting she creates.”

4. Eric Weissberg “He was one of my big influences very early on. The very first banjo album I ever had was called ‘Folk Banjo Styles,’ and he and Marshall Brickman played on that. And, of course, he played ‘Dueling Banjos’ [on the ‘Deliverance’ soundtrack]. That was hugely influential in getting a lot of people to play the banjo.”

5. Noam Pikelny (from Punch Brothers) “What can you say about Noam? With any of these guys [on this tour], I can understand what they’re doing. When Noam plays, I think, ‘What are you doing? How do you do that?’ The question has always been, who will be the next major innovator after Béla? And Noam’s the guy.”

Presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston, the Banjo Summit is at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge on Thursday, 7:30 p.m. The show is sold out.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.