15 August 2014

EBMA to receive IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award

On 13 August the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced the names of nominees for this year's Bluegrass Music Awards, and also the names of those who will receive Distinguished Achievement Awards. The five names in the latter list include Bill Keith, Deering Banjos - and the European Bluegrass Music Association.

The BIB congratulates the EBMA on this honour. IBMA Distinguished Achievement Awards are made for 'significant contributions to bluegrass music' and to those who have 'proven to be forerunners in their particular field of endeavor, and/or fostered bluegrass music's image with developments that will broaden the music's recognition and accessibility'.

The full list, with citations, can be seen here. The awards will be presented at a Special Awards luncheon at IBMA's World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, on Thursday 2 October (the main IBMA awards show comes later that day). Present to receive the EBMA's award will be several of its board members - Angelika Torrie (CH), Rienk Janssen (NL), Christopher Howard-Williams (F), Chris Keenan (IRL), and Martino Coppo (I).

Two very minor points about the IBMA's press release: the EBMA was founded in 2001, not 1995 (the date of its predecessor, the European Bluegrass Network); and the citation for Bill Keith may not quite do justice to the man second only to Earl Scruggs as most influential 5-string banjo player of the late twentieth century. We also hope that it may be possible for Paolo Dettwiler (CH) - chairman of the EBMA 2001-8, and for years also the International representative on the IBMA board - to be at the award presentation, as without him there would probably be no EBMA.

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