2021 IBMA Awards Nominees Announced

by | 9 Jul, 2021 | 2 comments

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced the nominees for this year’s IBMA Industry Awards and IBMA Momentum Awards, which will be presented during IBMA World of Bluegrass, September 28-October 2. The announcement was made earlier this morning on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction.

Through these awards, the bluegrass music community celebrates industry professionals and our rising stars. The IBMA Industry Awards recognise the exceptional contributions of those talented professionals who are essential to bluegrass music. The IBMA Momentum Awards highlight early-stage professionals making their mark on bluegrass music and the mentors and others involved in the industry who provide guidance and support. Congratulations to all of our nominees, and we look forward to seeing you in Raleigh – Pat Morris, Executive Director, IBMA.

The IBMA Momentum Awards will take place Wednesday, September 29; the IBMA Industry Awards will take place Thursday, September 30. Specific times and additional details for both events, and for other IBMA World of Bluegrass events, will be shared in the coming weeks across the organization’s social media platforms, through email notification, and at World of Bluegrass Website.

IBMA Industry Awards:

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 veteran bluegrass music professionals selected by the IBMA Board of Directors.

The 2021 IBMA Industry Awards Nominees:

Broadcaster of the Year

Kyle Cantrell
Barb Heller
Brad Kolodner
Peter Thompson
Alfred (Big Al) Weekley

Event of the Year

Blueberry Bluegrass Festival
CBA Jam-a-Thon
Porch Pride – A Bluegrass Pride Queer-Antine Festival
TBS (Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars) Online Bluegrass Festival
Friday Nights Live at Lorraine’s Coffee House & Music

Graphic Designer of the Year

Audrey Fletcher
Ellen Silva
Kevin Slick
Grace van’t Hof
Carla Wehby

Liner Notes of the Year

Albert Ihde – Bluegrass Country Soul, Various Artists
Daniel Mullins – Industrial Strength Bluegrass: Southwestern Ohio’s Musical Legacy, Various Artists
Ted Olson – We Shall All Be Reunited: Revisiting the Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928, Various Artists
Tim Stafford – California Autumn, Tony Rice

Songwriter of the Year

Mark “Brink” Brinkman
Becky Buller
Thomm Jutz
Rick Lang
Jon Weisberger

Sound Engineer of the Year

Scott Barnett
Adam Engelhardt
Anna Frick
David Glasser
Aaron Ramsey

Writer of the Year

Stacy Chandler
Emma John
David McCarty
Dan Miller
Tristan Scroggins

IBMA Momentum Awards:

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.

Nominees are chosen through a multi-stage process by committees made up of respected musicians and industry leaders in the bluegrass world.

The 2021 IBMA Momentum Award Nominees:

Mentor of the Year

Louisa Branscomb
Cathy Fink
Rick Lang
Wyatt Rice
Travis Stimeling

Momentum Industry Involvement

Adam Kirr
Kara Kundert
Mary Beth Martin
Maria Wallace

Momentum Vocalist of the Year

Katie Greer
Abby Latocha
Caroline Owens
Jaelee Roberts
Leanne Thorose

Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year(2 selected)

Daisy Caire
Maddie Denton
Jacob Metz
Julian Pinelli
Liam Purcell
Miles Quale
Teo Quale

Momentum Band of the Year

Crying Uncle
The Kody Norris Show
Lindley Creek
Stillhouse Junkies
Theo and Brenna

About IBMA World of Bluegrass:

IBMA World of Bluegrass is the most important week in bluegrass! The week encompasses four events: the IBMA Business Conference, September 28-30; the IBMA Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases taking place September 28-30 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center; the 32nd Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 30; and IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC, October 1-2, a two-day festival. IBMA Bluegrass Live! features the best of the best in bluegrass today, benefiting the IBMA 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.

About IBMA:

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the non-profit music association that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.


  1. Laurie Grundy

    Not too many international artists in the lists? Are there any consideration given to International performers outside the USA?

    • Greg McGrath

      That is an interesting observation. I am not sure how many Australian bands or artists actively engage with IBMA. The nomination process is open to anyone so it is up to us as Australians to nominate them.

      Another issue, is that there is not really any active publicity machine behind bluegrass bands and artists in Australia. Most bands or artists – not all – do their own and do it piecemeal while primarily committed to their day jobs. However, this website is a free opportunity for promotion which some artists do take advantage of.