Steve Arkin grew up in New York's legendary music scene, playing both old-time and bluegrass in bands with Jody Stecher, David Grisman, Maria Muldaur, and others. In 1964 Steve played banjo with Bill Monroe (who in James Rooney's book, Bossmen, called him "the best backup banjo player I ever heard)." An early exponent of melodic bluegrass banjo, Steve introduced his mentor Bill Keith to Bobby Thompson and his account of that meeting has been widely published and quoted.
Steve has won dozens of banjo contests (including the legendary one at the Philly Folk Festival) and played in many bands (including 4-years with Boston-based Northern Lights). Steve has taught both bluegrass and old-time banjo for five decades--his students have included Marty Cutler, Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn and Tommy Makem. He has taught at such music venues as Blue Ridge Music Week at Mars Hill College, NC, Banjo Camp North, Midwest Banjo Camp, The Metropolitan Music School, Park Slope Jamboree, and many others. He was featured in a Feb. 2006 Banjo Newsletter cover story where he was interviewed by Jody Stecher. Steve remains one of the few banjo players who are highly proficient in both bluegrass and old-time banjo styles.