'Heard Round the World: International Bluegrass News, March 2013

Sources: Bluegrass Europe Magazine, Richard Hawkins of the European Bluegrass Blog

The European Bluegrass Music Association will host the 5th European Bluegrass Summit on the weekend of 15–17 March 2013. The event will take place in Prague and will be held under the auspices of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

The summit is open to all, professionals and non-professionals, members and non-members of the European or other national associations, who think they may benefit from sharing ideas and best practices with like-minded people doing similar work in other countries. This includes fans, musicians, promoters, journalists, webmasters, national association reps, and anyone else with a personal, professional, or organizational interest in bluegrass in Europe. Info: www.ebma.org

More than 320,000 people have seen a movie in Belgium which features bluegrass music in its plot and soundtrack. A Broken Circle generated a “Broken Circle Band” tour, and the movie has also been released in German in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers (Finland) are featured on the cover of the current issue of Bluegrass Europe magazine. “We’ll stay close to the mic, sing our hearts out and keep the energy and drive in our music,” Jussi promises.

Lilly Drumeva, bandleader of Bulgaria’s Lilly of the West band, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue research in the field of bluegrass music in the United States. Drumeva will be in the States from August – November, and she will compile her studies into a book afterwards. The volume will be the first book in Bulgarian about bluegrass music.

Gifted writer and historian Richard Hawkins retired Feb. 15 from editing the Bluegrass Ireland Blog. Ray O’Brien of Waterford City has set up a “Bluegrass in Ireland” Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BluegrassIreland. Richard, we appreciate your work over the years—in both print and blog formats. Ray, we’ll see you on Facebook!

Richard Hurst of the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, announces that the lineup for this year's 22nd Annual Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival (Fri. 30 Aug.-Sun. 1 Sept. 2013) will include the Lonesome River Band, Cedar Hill, Lynda Dawson & Pattie Hopkins of Kickin’ Grass, Rawhide, The Jaywalkers, Southern Tenant Folk Union, plus Irish bands Woodbine, The Broken String Band, Northern Exposure, Tupelo, Well Enough Alone, and the Down and Out Bluegrass Band. http://www.nmni.com/uafp

Thanks to Dagfinn Pedersen of the Norwegian Bluegrass Music Association and the EBMA board, for this news of a new CD project in Norway, being released 23 March 2013: Audun Haugeplass, former vocalist and bass player of the Holstein United Bluegrass Boys, is releasing his first solo album, On Rocks and Earth, on the folk music record label Kyarts..

Three months ago it was announced that the Athy Bluegrass Festival, founded in 1991 and thus Ireland's oldest annual bluegrass event, would no longer be held.  Tony O'Brien, organizer of the festival since 1997, announces the Athy town council has intervened to give financial support to the event. This means that the 23rd Athy Bluegrass Festival will be held on the weekend 12-15 July 2013 in the Athy GAA Centre, Dublin Road, Athy, Co. Kildare. http://www.athy-bluegrass.com/

The members of Della Mae have made a considerable impact with their “Bluegrass on the Silk Road” tour of South and Central Asia, part of the US State Department's American Music Abroad program. Paul S. Rockower, communications director for American Voices, an associate of the program, has written an article, “American Music Abroad cultivates next generation of voices,”  which appeared in the Washington Diplomat recently.  He also travelled with Della Mae on the tour, and describes the opening show at the all-female Fatima Jinnah University in Islamabad, Pakistan: “Della Mae's presence on campus was akin to that of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones — students at the country's first female university were so excited to hear the female bluegrass band that they literally tore the doors off the hinges of the theater to get in on the sound check warm-up.”

“We've never played for crowds so excited and enthused to hear live music,” said Della Mae fiddler Kimber Ludiker. Read the full article here: http://www.washdiplomat.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8862:american-music-abroad-cultivates-next-generation-of-voices&catid=1498&Itemid=428

The 14th Spring Bluegrass Festival takes place in the Swiss Agricultural Museum in Alberswil, next to Willisau, Canton Lucerne, Switzerland, on 18 May 2013. The bands appearing on two stages at the all-day event will include: Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Growling Old Men, Rawhide, De Stroaklinkers, Rick Harris, Field & Thompson, Sunny Mountain Grass.