Originally filmed July 2008
Behind the Story: Noam Pikelny’s mother was a teacher at my daughters’ elementary school. Years ago, I remember hearing that her young son played the banjo. How cute. Then I heard that he was playing gigs in a bluegrass band in middle school! That’s got my attention. Next I knew, the amazing mandolinist Chris Thile of Nickel Creek had tapped him to be part of his new venture, Punch Brothers. You mean I get to do a story about a young banjo virtuoso and meet Chris Thile? I’m there.
Update: Noam has been very busy since we did this story back in 2008. Here is some of the latest news:
Punch Brothers were recently featured in the March 2011 issue of Interview Magazine.
In Sept, 2010, Noam was the first recipiant of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. That came with a $50,000 award! Read the article here.
On November 5, 2010, he appeared on Late Show with David Letterman playing a comedic version of “Dueling Banjos” alongside Steve Martin, and later performed with Martin and Punch Brothers.