Category Archives: The Wildmans

Victor Furtado Wins Steve Martin Award For Banjo

Known for his extraordinary and unorthodox style of contemporary clawhammer banjo, Furtado has been awarded this year’s prestigious award.
September 13, 2019
Known for his extraordinary and unorthodox style of contemporary clawhammer banjo, Furtado has been awarded this year’s prestigious award.

September 13, 2019
Willis, VA – Travianna Records would like to congratulate this year’s winner of The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass, Victor Furtado. Victor is the brilliant clawhammer banjo player that performs with Travianna Records’ neo-traditional band, The Wildmans. It’s no wonder the prize’s Board of Directors have recognized Victor’s talents – they’re incredible. As Bluegrass Today said, Victor is “a young man with an
absurdly precocious talent, and a depth of understanding of old time
music that is at odds with his age.”

At 19 years of age, Victor is the youngest recipient of the award and will no doubt gain more attention from such an accolade. As the youngest of nine siblings, he has been immersed in bluegrass, old time, and classical music his entire life. He is known for his uniquely innovative banjo style and genre-blending tune writing and is currently studying at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA.

Victor has performed extensively from fiddlers’ conventions to venues
like The Grand Ole Opry. He has won many of the most competitive banjo competitions including Galax, Clifftop, Freshgrass, Maury River, and the Virginia State Fair.

Victor was completely surprised by his award. He says,
“It was Tuesday morning, the one day in which I don’t have any classes. I woke up abruptly from the jarring sound of the apartment door buzzer. I quickly unlocked the door thinking it was my friend, instead, it was the
mailman who was very unhappy about running up four flights of stairs. He handed me an envelope and had me sign for it. I slowly opened the
envelope with zero expectation of what it might be, all I knew is that it
was from Béla Fleck. It actually didn’t cross my mind that it would be the Steve Martin Banjo Award. As soon as I opened the envelope and saw the certificate and a check for $50,000 I just sat there with my heart racing
for a few minutes and shouted to my roommate/band member Eli
Wildman ‘HOLLYYYY WHAAAATTT?!’ It was really surreal to see the signatures of my banjo heroes whom chose me for this award. I feel so honored, motivated, inspired, and grateful. I’ve always been excited about
music and especially clawhammer banjo. Winning this award is
reaffirming to me that this is a reasonable pursuit as a career and life
dedication. I am so honored.”

The Wildmans recently finished their first project with Travianna
Records. After the recording, Executive Producer Mark Hodges stated, “It’s unreal how tight this group plays together. Their original music is complex, and it just flows out of them. I think we’re witnessing the future of
the genre right before our eyes.” There’s no doubt that Victor’s banjo
style plays a big part in that.

The new project is currently being mixed and a new single from the
group will be available soon.


Travianna Records is pleased to welcome The Wildmans to their lineup.  If you’ve heard The Wildmans on stage or anywhere, really, you know the incredible talent they are. 

The Wildmans are a young neo-traditional string band, who call the hills of Floyd, Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian mountain music tradition, their home. Music is literally running through their veins. The band features siblings Eli Wildman and Aila Wildman, winners of the 2018 Galax Old Fiddler’s Mandolin and Old Time Fiddle, and Best All Around Performer awards respectively. They’re joined by award-winning (1st in Galax 2015, 2016 & 2019) young clawhammer banjo player Victor Furtado, and bass player and vocalist Sean Newman.

Their website says it best: “From campsite jamming at festivals, fiddler’s conventions, and classical music education comes the foundation for musical exploration that sets this group apart, taking the audience on a musical journey that reflects the growth and passion of these talented young musicians.”  Not only do their attributes show the growth and passion of this group, they reflect the future of Americana and roots music.Production of their new music is well underway. It’s produced by Aaron Ramsey & Nate Leath and will beautify the music world in early 2020. This is definitly a band to watch!