Hot Rize Announced as 2018 IBMA Awards Show Hosts

Hot Rize, celebrating their 40th Anniversary, to Host the 29th International Bluegrass Music Awards

Theme for the Awards Show is “The Oak Tree”

Nashville, TN – Hot Rize, celebrating 40 years as one of the most influential and beloved artists in contemporary bluegrass, will host the IBMA’s 29th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, scheduled for September 27 at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The four members of Hot Rize – Nick Forster, Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton and Pete Wernick – will host bluegrass music’s biggest night, where the music community acknowledges the year’s outstanding achievements, honors new Hall of Fame inductees, and waves the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.

The International Bluegrass Music Awards is part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass brought to you by Chiesi USA, which takes place September 25 – 29 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Hot Rize are honored to host what I call the night, ‘Big Bluegrass Smiles’, where the community that’s supported us all these years comes together, and cheers each other on,” said O’Brien.

“The 2018 IBMA Awards Show will reflect the strength of bluegrass music today and its growth as we look to the future,” said Claire Armbruster, who returns, along with Mary Burdette, as executive producers of the show.

The Awards Show’s theme this year is “The Oak Tree”. “The oak tree symbolizes strength, endurance and is viewed as the ‘great protector’,” said Armbruster. “The ‘City of Oaks’, Raleigh, NC, uses the iconic image of the oak tree because it grows there in great abundance. Bluegrass music may perhaps be symbolized by the mighty oak as it has experienced many changes over the past eighty or so years, yet the genre has endured as it continues to branch out and grow.”

Steve Martin has referred to Hot Rize as “the great modern bluegrass band. They’re the connective tissue that links the great founders of bluegrass with the modern tradition.” The International Bluegrass Music Association’s very first Entertainers of the Year, Hot Rize’s sound is steeped in bluegrass tradition while equally informed by a taste for the music of Leadbelly and Freddie King, swing, old-time Appalachia and more in ways that mirror the broad sweep of Bill Monroe’s influences. Their critically acclaimed albums include Hot Rize, Untold Stories, Traditional Ties, Radio Boogie, Take it Home and their most recent, When I’m Free. The band continues to tour, with 2018 performances being scheduled through the end of the year.

“The IBMA Awards Show is the biggest night in bluegrass music, with brilliant performances and long lasting memories. Having Hot Rize host this year’s show will create an extraordinary night of unpredictable fun,” said Paul Schiminger, executive director of the IBMA. “Hot Rize was the IBMA’s first Entertainers of the Year and now they are celebrating their 40th anniversary.  They clearly embody the IBMA’s focus on ‘Honoring Tradition and Encouraging Innovation’.  Now let’s just hope they leave that other group from Wyoming, Montana on the bus!” Schiminger added, referring to Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, who Hot Rize fans will be familiar with as the “band that travels in the back of the Hot Rize bus and occasionally spells their employers on stage”, according to the Hot Rize website.

Information about the 28th IBMA Awards Show, including ticket availability, can be found at

More info about World of Bluegrass:

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, whose principal sponsor is Chiesi USA, is a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming and convention. World of Bluegrass encompasses four events: the IBMA Business Conference, September 25-27; the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 25-27 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center; the 29th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 27; and PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, September 28-29, a two-day festival. The ticketed Wide Open Main Stage features the best of the best in bluegrass today, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Bluegrass Trust Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that assists bluegrass professionals during financial emergencies. The free Wide Open StreetFest brings bluegrass into the community and introduces the music to thousands of new fans every year.

As in years past, events during World of Bluegrass will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, the Red Hat Amphitheater and at various venues in town.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year’s World of Bluegrass events generated $11.7 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be a record-breaking 221,000 people. Over 220 acts performed throughout the entire week of World of Bluegrass.

About IBMA
IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s nine-year run in Raleigh is the product of their successful partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

About Chiesi USA
Chiesi USA, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company committed to research, development, and commercialization of innovative products in the areas of cardiovascular, neonatology, respiratory, rare disease and special care therapeutics. Our primary focus is on people: the people we serve in the healthcare community; the people whose lives are touched by our products and services; and the people who work at Chiesi USA, as they strive to build their company, their family and their community. Chiesi USA, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.

About PNC Bank
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit

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