In This Year-End Issue

  • 'Bluegrass Is #MoreThanMusic' Year-End Giving Campaign
  • 2020 GRAMMY Nominees
  • Remembering Saburo Watanabe & Lamar Grier
  • IBMA Welcomes New Communications Director
  • Bluegrass Now! Concert Taping For PBS
  • Member News

Bluegrass is #MoreThanMusic
Year-End Giving Campaign

Bluegrass is more than music, it is emergency assistance, music education, and career development. It is real impact for real people made possible by your support. Please donate now to the combined giving campaign of the IBMA, IBMA Trust Fund, and IBMA Foundation.

In addition to your donation, we want to know what bluegrass is to you. Share your own story by posting a video, picture, or statement on social media using #morethanmusic.
Thanks to IBMA Board Chair, Joe Mullins, for going live on our Facebook page to help us roll our our #MoreThanMusic year-end giving campaign! Learn more at

2020 GRAMMY Nominees

We would also like to extend our congratulations to our bluegrass friends nominated in other categories: Rick Lang and Jerry Salley, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, I'm With Her (Aoife O'Donavan, Sarah Jarosz, and Sara Watkins), Amythyst Kiah (Our Native Daughters), and Che Apalache. 

The IBMA will again be partnering with Folk Alliance International and The Blues Foundation to host a Roots Music GRAMMY nominee party on Saturday, January 25th, in Los Angeles. The party will celebrate the bluegrass, folk, and blues music nominees and include live performances. A very limited number of tickets will be available to the public, so stay tuned for more information on how you can attend the event.
Final round of GRAMMY voting is open from Dec. 9 to Jan. 3

If you manage or otherwise represent a Recording Academy Voter, remind them that their first-round ballot will be available via their Recording Academy member account.

Need help with GRAMMY voting? Contact the Voter Support Hotline at 833-789-VOTE (8683) or

Remembering Saburo Watanabe & Lamar Grier

Saburo Watanabe

12/3/1949 - 11/21/2019

Sab Watanabe was a major entity in the Japanese bluegrass scene. Most notably, he was the banjo player for the trailblazing Japanese band Bluegrass 45. In addition to his musical talents, Sab co-founded Moonshiner, Japan's premier bluegrass publication, and the Takarazuka Bluegrass Festival in Sanda City, Japan, both of which have been staples of the Japanese bluegrass community for decades.

Philip Lamar Grier, Jr.

4/15/1938 - 12/10/2019

Lamar Grier was a member of Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys from 1965-1967. During those years, the band consisted of Bill, Lamar, Peter Rowan, James Monroe, and Richard Greene - widely praised as one of Bill's finest lineups, thanks in part to Lamar's stout banjo playing. Lamar also performed and recorded with Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, the Strange Creek Singers, Buzz Busby, Tex Logan, and Peter Rowan.

IBMA Welcomes New Communications Director

The International Bluegrass Music Association would like to welcome Casey Campbell as its new Communications Director.

The bluegrass audience might know Casey as one of the up-and-coming mandolin players on the scene. A Nashville native, he has toured and recorded with Bryan Sutton, David Grier, Jim Lauderdale, Mac Wiseman, John Oates, and many more. In 2017, Casey released Mandolin Duets: Volume One, an album of one-on-one duets with mandolin masters David Grisman, Bobby Osborne, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Roland White, Mike Compton, Jesse McReynolds, Andy Statman, Buck White, Ricky Skaggs, and Tim O’Brien. This album earned him IBMA's Best Graphic Design Award and Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year Award

In addition to his impressive music résumé, Casey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Belmont University, earning his B.B.A. in Music Business in 2014. While at Belmont, he was an IBMA intern, completed the Leadership Bluegrass program in 2012, and has continued to help the organization during World of Bluegrass. With Casey’s deep knowledge of the music and community, we are very excited to bring him on board!

Bluegrass Now! Concert Taping For PBS

Hosted by Rhonda Vincent and Jim Lauderdale, the all-star lineup features Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Dan Tyminski, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Larry Sparks, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Missy Raines, and Molly Tuttle in a grand celebration of bluegrass music. The performance will be taped for PBS and is scheduled to air in February or March of 2020. 

The concert will take place on December 19th at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. For tickets and more information, visit

Save the Date!


Sept. 29th - Oct. 3rd, 2020

Raleigh, NC

IBMA Community News & Releases

On November 21st, Alison Krauss was honored with a National Medal of Arts for her undeniable contributions and influence in American music.

From the National Endowment for the Arts press release, "Blending bluegrass, folk, gospel, and country into a unique style, she has entertained and enriched the souls of millions."

Other honorees included Sharon Percy Rockefeller, The Musicians of the United States Military, and Jon Voight.

For more information, visit the National Endowment for the Arts website

Engelhardt Music Group has two new releases that are sure to catch the ears of bluegrass fans.

The first is a new self-titled album from Ronnie Bowman (his first solo release since It's Getting Better All The Time in 2005). The album includes Wyatt Rice, Dan Tyminski, Del McCoury, Stuart Duncan, Rob McCoury, Dennis Crouch, Rob Ickes, and many more. 

 The second EMG release is A Very Joyful Bluegrass Christmas, a holiday bluegrass sampler featuring a mix of classics and new material from Ronnie Bowman, Larry Stephenson, Eddie Sanders, Chris Roberts & Ashley Campbell, Tim Crouch, Glen Duncan, and Casey Campbell.

Order your copy of both albums at the EMG shop.

2019 Leadership Bluegrass alumnus John Lowell has released a lyric video for Without You Being Here With Me. This track is off his new album, This Long Stretch of Gravel, a collection of 11 original songs featuring guest performers Missy Raines, Becky Buller, Greg Cahill, John Reischman, Claire Lynch, Darol Anger, Joe K. Walsh, Jeremy Garrett, Andy Hall, Bill Payne, Joe Newberry, Ron Block, Stephen Mougin, Chris Jones, Ben Somers, Bill Payne, Joy Adams, and Jason Thomas. Learn more.

The United States Navy Band has an immediate opening for the position of fiddle instrumentalist in Country Current. Auditions will be held on February 10, 2020, with application materials/resumes/recordings due by January 12, 2020. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 to 39 and otherwise qualified for service in the U.S. Navy. Learn more.

Carolyn Eyerly shares Christmas In A Dive Bar, a fun-loving holiday single from her upcoming album The Sunny Side of Life. 

Carolyn is joined by Mike Munford, Chris Luquette, Ronnie Simpkins, Ron Stewart, Fred Travers, Danny Knicely, and her Sweet Yonder bandmates Janine Lewis and Mary DeGuire Romagnoli. 

Listen now and keep an eye out for the full album release in the spring. 

Winners of the 2019 Mike Auldridge Instrumental Composition Contest.

1st Place:  Chapel Hill Deer Stalk by George Jackson of Madison, TN.

2nd Place:  Remy’s Breakdown by Daisy Kerr of Camino, CA.

3rd Place:  Der Belsnickel by Patrick McAvinue, Thompson’s Station, TN.

For more information and a list of Honorable Mentions, visit the DC Bluegrass Union's website

The Evie Ladin Band has released a new music video for Almost Everywhere, a track from their 2019 release Caught On A Wire.

Evie was one of our 2019 World of Bluegrass official showcase artists and earned high praise from audiences throughout the week for her talents and fun, rootsy performances. She is joined by Keith Terry and Erik Pearson. Learn more.

Want to see your album or news right here?

Get your news out to 30,000 colleagues, IBMA members, and motivated bluegrass fans by becoming an IBMA member today. Email Casey your news, including important links and an image such as cover art, a logo, etc.

*All content included and/or edited at the editor's discretion.
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
Contact Us:
International Bluegrass Music Association
4206 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216-2102
Phone: 615-256-3222  |  Toll Free: 1-888-438-4262

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