Steve Martin is successful at whatever he picks.
The actor, author and comedian will pick his banjo Saturday in the MontBleu Theatre. Tickets have sold out for “An Evening of Comedy and Music” by Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell.
While Martin has used a banjo as a standup comedian since the early 1970s, he received attention as a seriously skilled player in 2001 when he played on Earl Scrugg’s version of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” which won a Grammy Award for “Best Country Instrumental Performance.”
He released the 2009 album “The Crow,” and with the Steep Canyon Rangers in 2011 “Red Bird Alert.”
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell collaborated to release the album “Love has Come For You” in April, and they have since toured the nation, headlining the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, playing the Toronto Jazz Festival and performing in the Hollywood Bowl. After Saturday’s Tahoe show, the band plays Sunday afternoon at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Martin’s show business career began as a writer for the “Smothers Brothers.” He received an Emmy Award in 1969. His standup comedy career ascended in the 1970s. He hosted “Saturday Night Live” 15 times.
He went on to become a star on the big screen in dozens of movies.
Martin continues to act, but is now most active as bluegrass player. On Nov. 16 he will receive a Governors Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Martin for four years also has presented the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, which includes $50,000 and a television appearance on television.
“It’s a great American instrument,” Martin told Dave Itzkoff for a Sept. 11 New York Times article. “And every time it appears on television, there’s this little boost. That’s really what the prize was about. I think $50,000 gets attention, and $49.95 wouldn’t have.”
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell
‘An Evening of Comedy and Music’
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5; doors open at 9.
Where: MontBleu Theatre
Tickets: sold out