Wednesday, August 26, 2020
– Hosts and performers were announced for the 31st Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards, which will stream Oct. 1 at 8 pm ET.
Sierra Hull, Joe Newberry, Tim O'Brien and Rhonda Vincent will share hosting and presenter duties over the course of the two-hour show, featuring taped and virtual performances and presentations from 2019 Entertainer of the Year Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Brooke Aldridge, Balsam Range, Kristin Scott Benson, Blue Highway, Dale Ann Bradley, Gena Britt, Alison Brown, Mike Bub, Becky Buller, Sam Bush, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Katy Daley, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Gina Furtado, David Grier, Trey Hensley, Rob Ickes, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Ned Luberecki, Del McCoury Band, Missy Raines, Sister Sadie, Amanda Smith, Special Consensus, Billy Strings, Bryan Sutton, The Po' Ramblin' Boys, Taj Mahal, The Travelin' McCourys, Molly Tuttle, Scott Vestal and Jake Workman. Additional performers will be announced.
The 2020 IBMA Awards show will featured taped and virtual performers from all six Entertainer of the Year nominees, as well as such special events and collaborations as:
On stage at the Ryman, the Del McCoury Band will perform a classic Bill Monroe song in celebration of the 75th anniversary of bluegrass.
In a tribute to Doc Watson, his longtime band mate T. Michael Coleman is joined by all five Guitar Player of the Year nominees for a rousing "Black Mountain Rag."
In a tribute to J.D. Crowe, his ex-band member Jerry Douglas has collected a lineup all five banjo nominees, joined by Douglas, Sam Bush, Missy Raines and David Grier.
Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper will perform a song from his 2020 GRAMMY-winning album "Tall Fiddler."
Taj Mahal joins from Northern California and will team up with Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley plus nominated sidemen Mike Bub and Stuart Duncan, performing at the Ryman, for "Sittin' on Top of the World."
Becky Buller, Missy Raines and Alison Brown will perform an original hymn by Buller, "Take Me Over Jordan," for the "In Memoriam" segment.
To salute women in bluegrass history and the 20th anniversary of the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack, four female nominees (including Vincent) will do the a cappella "Down to the River to Pray" from the groundbreaking project.
An opening number recreating that night 75 years ago when Flatt and Scruggs joined Bill Monroe on stage at the Ryman Auditorium.
"This show has been a pleasure to produce," said Joanne Gardner Lowell, producer of this year's Awards show. "When I started talking with the IBMA earlier this year, we were Raleigh bound. I've been so impressed by how eager all of the IBMA team and the performers have been to pivot and create an entirely new program with virtual aspects. It's a testament to how the people in the bluegrass community are focused on pulling together to make lemonade out of the large crate of lemons we"ve all been handed this year."
The audio for the show will air on SiriusXM's Bluegrass Junction channel, and livestream via IBMA's Facebook Live, and Swapcard, the official event platform for IBMA Virtual World of Bluegrass event this year. The show will stream for free, with donations encouraged to help support the IBMA.
The IBMA and its Local Organizing Committee partners in Raleigh, N.C. have determined that, due to ongoing health concerns relating to COVID-19 and the logistical challenges of creating a safe in-person event experience, this year's IBMA World of Bluegrass will take place virtually. The planned conference, showcases, awards and festival performances will be presented as an online experience Sept. 28-Oct. 3.