Mumford & Sons have been announced as the recipients of this year’s John Steinbeck Award, which will be presented as part of a special event honouring the band in September.
The prestigious award was established in 1996, and is given annually to a writer, thinker, artist or activist who embodies the “empathetic spirit and values” of John Steinbeck, author of legendary titles such as The Grapes of Wrath, East Of Eden and Of Mice and Men.
Mumford and Sons will receive the prize on Wednesday, 18 September at Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall, in a ceremony which will feature the band in conversation and an acoustic performance.
The decision to award Mumford and Sons the prize was based in part on their ‘Gentleman of The Road’ fund, which was established in 2006 and supports global and local charities fighting for social justice. They also paid tribute to Steinbeck in 2012 with a gig titled ‘Mumford and Sons in Monterey: A Salute to John Steinbeck.’
“Mumford and Sons can also be linked to John Steinbeck through their music, especially songs such as ‘Timshel,’ ‘Dust Bowl Dance,’ and ‘Rose of Sharon,’ and through their advocacy of the author’s writings,” said Ted Cady, chair of the Steinbeck committee.
Previous recipients of the Steinbeck Award include fellow musicians Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, John Mellencamp and Jackson Browne. Other winners include actor Sean Penn, playwright Arthur Miller and The Kite Runner author Khaled Hosseini.
As uDiscover Music previously reported, Mumford & Sons are presently on tour in the US. The band tacked on a string of West Coast shows to the end of their world tour in support of their Billboard 200-topping album, Delta. Featuring Portugal.The Man in support, the new, seven-date run kicked off on 3 August at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California and is scheduled to conclude on 15 August at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Visit the band’s official website for further information about all their forthcoming dates.
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