Nominees for IBMA’s 2019 Industry Awards and Momentum Awards Announced

NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 8, 2019 – The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced the nominees for this year’s Industry Awards and Momentum Awards, which will be presented during the IBMA Business Conference, as part of the organization’s World of Bluegrass event, brought to you by Chiesi USA, September 24-September 28 in Raleigh, NC. The recipients of the 2019 Momentum Awards will be presented with their awards at a conference luncheon on Wednesday, September 25, and the recipients of the 2019 Industry Awards will be presented with their awards at a conference luncheon on Thursday, September 26. Thursday’s Awards Luncheon will also include a segment honoring the recipients of the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Registration for the IBMA Business Conference is required to attend; registration, tickets and information for all World of Bluegrass events can be found at

“The virtuosity of bluegrass musicians is recognized worldwide. With the Industry Awards, we recognize that same quality, found in our industry professionals who make vital contributions felt by everyone,” says IBMA’s Executive Director Paul Schiminger. “The Momentum Awards celebrate both the incredible achievements of the rising stars in our music, and the generosity of those who mentor them.  Congratulations to each and every nominee for being recognized by your peers!”


The Industry Awards recognize outstanding work in categories including Broadcaster of the Year, Event of the Year, Graphic Designer of the Year, Liner Notes of the Year, Writer of the Year, Sound Engineer of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year.

Nominees in each category are selected by specially appointed committees made up of bluegrass music professionals who possess significant knowledge of that field. The recipient of each award is decided on by the Panel of Electors, an anonymous group of over 200 veteran bluegrass music professionals selected by the IBMA Board of Directors.

The 2019 IBMA Industry Awards nominees are:

Graphic Designer of the Year 

Michael Armistead

Steve Cooley

Landon Elmore

Grace Van’t Hof

Lee Swartz


Liner Notes of the Year

Allison De Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves – Project: Allison De Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves

Akira Otsuka, Dudley Connell, Jeff Place, Katy Daley – Project: Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey (Various Artists)

Colin Escott – Project: The Louvin Brothers – Love and Wealth: The Lost Recordings

Neil V. Rosenberg – Project: Tribute to the Kentucky Colonels (Roland White and Friends)

Ted Olson – Project: Didn’t He Ramble, Songs of Charlie Poole (David Davis & The Warrior River Boys)


Broadcaster of the Year

Jan Dale (“Southern Style” – PBS-FM)

Barb Heller (“String Fever” – NCPR)

Brad Kolodner (“Brad Kolodner Show”- Bluegrass Country Radio, “Old Time Jam” – Radio Bristol)

Michelle Lee (“Bluegrass Borderline” – WOBL, “Smoked Country Jam” – WOBL)

Peter Thompson (“Bluegrass Signal” – KALW)


Writer of the Year

Craig Havighurst

Ted Lehmann

David Morris

Bill Nowlin

Greg Reish


Songwriter of the Year

Charles Humphrey III

Thomm Jutz

Rick Lang

Milan Miller

Jerry Salley

Sound Engineer of the Year

Dewey Boyd

Steve Chandler

Anna Frick

Tim Reitnouer

Ben Surratt


Event of the Year

Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival (Farmers Branch, Texas)

Blueberry Bluegrass Festival (Stony Plain, Alberta Canada)

Emelin Theatre Bluegrass Concert Series (Mamaroneck, New York)

County Bluegrass (Fort Fairfield, Maine)

The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming (Southwest Virginia)

The 2019 Industry Awards are sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association and Homespun Music Instruction.


The Momentum Awards recognize both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who, in the early stages of their careers, are making significant contributions to or are having a significant influence upon bluegrass music. These contributions can be to bluegrass music in general, or to a specific sector of the industry. The Mentor Award, in contrast to the other Momentum Awards, recognizes a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry.

Starting with recommendations from the IBMA membership, nominees are chosen through a multi-stage process by committees made up of respected musicians and industry leaders in the bluegrass world.

This year’s Momentum Award nominees are:

Industry Involvement

Dustin Boyd

Kara Kundert

Bennett Sullivan


Mentor of the Year

Anni Beach

Mark Fain

Tom Mindte

Jon Weisberger



A.J. Lee & Blue Summit (California)

Cane Mill Road (Deep Gap, NC)

Circus No. 9 (East Tennessee)

The Price Sisters (Sardis, Ohio)

Slocan Ramblers (Canada)



Kristy Cox

Jacob Greer

Ellie Hakanson

A.J. Lee

Lauren Price Napier


Instrumentalist [two are chosen in this category]

Daniel Amick

Aaron “Frosty” Foster

Ellie Hakanson

Liam Purcell

Jeremy Stephens

Jarrod Walker

Tray Wellington


The 2019 Momentum Awards are sponsored by Fishman and the Bluegrass Situation.


More info about IBMA’s World of Bluegrass and the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival

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 24-26; the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 24-26 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center; the 30thAnnual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 26; and PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, September 27-28, a two-day festival. Wide Open Bluegrass features the best of the best in bluegrass today, benefiting the IBMA Bluegrass Trust Fund—a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that assists bluegrass professionals during financial emergencies—and introducing 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 $12.7 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be a record-breaking 223,000 people. Over 220 acts performed throughout the entire week of World of Bluegrass.


About IBMA

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the nonprofit professional organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s successful run in Raleigh is the product of their 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.

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Press Info:

Judy McDonough, JEMMedia

[email protected], (615) 243-5994

General Info:

Abby Lee Hood,IBMA

[email protected], (615) 256-3222

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