My bluegrass excitement always builds this time of year as I prepare for the coming of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass September 30-October 4 in Raleigh, NC.
I am returning this year to assist with directing a portion of the award presentations. There is a star-studded line-up for the 25th International Bluegrass Music Awards, to be held on Thursday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m. at North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (Memorial Auditorium).
Performers include all five 2014 Entertainer of the Year nominees: Balsam Range, Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent, the Gibson Brothers and the Del McCoury Band. Also scheduled to perform is Female Vocalist/Song of the Year nominee Claire Lynch, Instrumental Group of the Year nominee Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, last year’s Emerging Artist recipient Della Mae, and the Boxcars, leading the pack in 2014 with ten nominations. Awards Show hosts Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas will also perform that evening.
Members of the original Seldom Scene – Ben Eldridge, Tom Gray and John Starling – will be part of a special Seldom Scene performance celebrating their induction into the Hall of Fame. Also, Emerging Artist of the Year nominee the Spinney Brothers will give tribute to this year’s other Hall of Fame inductee, bluegrass historian Neil Rosenberg.
There is a star studded list of presenters that will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction), streamed live by Music City Roots and available at ibma.org and musiccityroots.com.
The Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest is the free street festival portion of Wide Open Bluegrass on October 3 and 4. The ticketed concerts for both days will take place at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater and the Raleigh Convention Center.
“If you’ve ever wondered what ‘bluegrass heaven’ would be like, you need to come to Raleigh, North Carolina October 3-4,” said IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell. “You’ll hear some of the best bluegrass music from around the world, played by talented musicians of all ages. There will be banners in the street, barbecue wafting through the air, banjos on every corner, red-hot jamming and dancing, and a smile on every face. In the Raleigh Convention Center we’ll have a fantastic Bluegrass Expo Hall, a Masters Workshop, and celebrity jam sessions, plus all sorts of great music and fun outside at the StreetFest. Get your tickets now and make plans to enjoy every joyous part of the Wide Open Bluegrass festival!”
In addition to the free Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest, as recently announced, tickets for Red Hat Amphitheater/RCC are limited, and expected to sell out before the performance dates. To purchase tickets for this portion of Wide Open Bluegrass or find out more information, go to ibma.org.