Nominees for IBMA’s 2018 Special Awards and Momentum Awards Announced


NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 9, 2018 – The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced the nominees for this year’s Special Awards and Momentum Awards. The recipients of the 2018 Momentum Awards will be presented with their awards at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 26, and the recipients of the 2018 Special Awards will be presented with their awards at a luncheon on Thursday, September 27 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, brought to you by Chiesi USA, September 25-September 29. Thursday’s Awards Luncheon will include a segment honoring the recipients of the 2018 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 Special 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 Special Awards recognize outstanding work in categories including Broadcaster of the Year, Bluegrass Event of the Year, Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project, Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project, Print/Media Person of the Year and Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year. New this year will be Sound Engineer of the Year, in recognition of audio professionals in both live and studio settings.

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 2018 IBMA Special Awards nominees are:

Graphic Design
Drew Bolen & Whitney Beard – Project: Old Salt Union by Old Salt Union
Lou Everhart – Project: A Heart Never Knows by The Price Sisters
Robert Hakalski – Project: Portraits in Fiddles by Mike Barnett
Corey Johnson – Project: Sounds of Kentucky by Carolina Blue
Karen Key – Project: Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition by Various Artists

Liner Notes
Craig Havighurst – Project: The Story We Tell by Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
Steve Martin – Project: The Long Awaited Album by Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
Joe Mullins – Project: Sounds of Kentucky Grass by Carolina Blue
Ted Olson – Project: Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition by Various ArtistsPeter Wernick – Project: Carter Stanley’s Eyes by Peter Rowan

Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year
Larry Carter
Michelle Lee
Steve Martin
Alan Tompkins
Kris Truelsen

Print Media Person of the Year
Derek Halsey
Chris Jones
Ted Lehmann
David Morris
Neil Rosenberg

Songwriter of the Year
Becky Buller
Thomm Jutz
Jerry Salley
Donna Ulisse
Jon Weisberger

Event of the Year
Bluegrass on the Green – Frankfort, IL
County Bluegrass – Fort Fairfield, ME
Emelin Theatre – Mamaroneck, NY
Flagler Museum’s Bluegrass in the Pavilion – Palm Beach, FL
FreshGrass Festival – North Adams, MA

Sound Engineer of the Year
Dave Sinko
Stephen Mougin
Gary Paczosa
Tim Reitnouer
Ben Surratt

The 2018 Special 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:

Anderson Bluegrass Festival – SC
Farm & Fun Time – VA
Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival – WA
Red Wing Roots Music Festival – VA
SamJam Bluegrass Festival – OH

Industry Involvement
Megan Lynch Chowning and Adam Chowning
Justin Hiltner
Kris Truelsen

Daniel Boner
Cathy Fink
Scott Napier
Jon Weisberger
Pete Wernick

Cane Mill Road – NC
Man About a Horse – PA
Midnight Skyracer – UK
The Trailblazers – NC
Wood Belly – CO

Ellie Hakanson (Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Greg Blake Band)
Will Jones (Terry Baucom & the Dukes of Drive)
AJ Lee (AJ Lee & Blue Summit)
Evan Murphy (Mile Twelve)
Daniel Thrailkill (The Trailblazers)

Instrumentalist [three are chosen in this category]
Tabitha Agnew (Midnight Skyracer)
David Benedict (Mile Twelve)
Catherine (“BB”) Bowness (Mile Twelve)
Thomas Cassell (Circus No. 9)
Hasee Ciaccio (Molly Tuttle Band)
Matthew Davis (Circus No. 9)
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (Mile Twelve)
Aynsley Porchak (Carolina Blue)
Trajan Wellington (Cane Mill Road)

The 2018 Momentum Awards are sponsored by the Bluegrass Situation.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, brought to you by Chiesi USA, is a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming, encompassing 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; 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 charitable fund that helps bluegrass professionals in dire need. 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 event generated $11.5 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be a record-breaking number of more 220,000 people. Over 200 acts performed throughout the entire week of World of Bluegrass.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the nonprofit 501(c)(3) professional organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s nine-year run in Raleigh, extending through 2021, 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.
Official hashtags: #WOB18, #IBMA, #Raleigh

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