IBMA Announces New Award: Bluegrass Drummer of the Year


IBMA Announces New Award: Bluegrass Drummer of the Year


April 1, 2019, Nashville, TN – In response to years of energetic petitioning by our membership, the IBMA board is proud to announce the new Bluegrass Drummer of the Year Award. Starting with first round ballots that go out later this month, IBMA voting members will finally be able to vote for the bluegrass drummers they feel are making the most significant contributions in bluegrass today. Because of the broad range of bluegrass drum styles, this award will honor both snare players and full kit drummers. Under consideration in the near future is a new Momentum Award for Cajon.

IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger says of the new Bluegrass Drummer of the Year Award, “Drums have long been an essential part of bluegrass.  Today’s great drummers and cajon players have built upon the foundation laid down by legends like Buddy Harman, Murray Harman, Willie Ackerman, and Doug Kirkham who helped elevate Flatt & Scruggs, The Osborne Brothers, and Jimmy Martin to Hall of Fame status.  Finally, the true essence of bluegrass rhythm has a place of honor with this new IBMA Award!”


The IBMA is excited to have the early support of SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction around this new instrumentalist award. Kyle Cantrell tells the IBMA, “I think it’s a very shrewd move.  Here at Bluegrass Junction, we’re adopting a policy of not playing any songs WITHOUT drums. Clearly, the times they are a-changin’. Glad to see the IBMA jump on board!”

It is rumored that upon getting wind of this news, Ringo Starr was overheard commenting, “I’m thrilled with the IBMA’s decision, even if it is 60 years too late.  The Beatles’ true dream, from our days in Liverpool, was to play the bluegrass circuit from Bean Blossom to Watermelon Park but were concerned the drums would be controversial despite Flatt & Scruggs and Jimmy Martin using them, so we voted to stick with Rock & Roll instead.  I guess it all worked out, but we would have been one hell of a bluegrass band!”

In the planning stages for additional recognition of bluegrass percussionists in 2019, look for a round-the-clock “Will the Drum Circle Be Unbroken” jam to run in the lobby of the Marriott City Center in Raleigh from 9 am Tuesday morning through Sunday morning 9 am during World of Bluegrass.

Proposals to recognize washboard, triangle and spoons players were not adopted by the board.

The IBMA wishes everyone a happy April 1st.

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