2020 IBMA Momentum Award winners announced

The announcement of the Momentum Awards for newer performers has been a highlight of my World of Bluegrass experience in recent years, and this year was no exception.

As the finalists are announced and the winners selected, you can’t help but come away thinking that the future of bluegrass is in good hands, not only in the US and Canada, but in Europe and elsewhere. And it’s fun to keep score when many of the nominees and winners end up on the big stage for the Awards Show in future years.

This year’s virtual ceremony was compact – less than an hour – but chock full of great music from the five band-of-the-year finalists, and it was kept moving by host Stephen Mougin, himself a past winner of the Momentum Mentor of the Year trophy.

The 2020 winners are:

  • Industry Involvement: Kris Truelsen, Radio Bristol
  • Instrumentalists of the Year (two winners): Banjo player Tabitha Agnew and mandolinist Thomas Cassell
  • Vocalist of the Year: Melody Williamson
  • Band of the Year: The Slocan Ramblers
  • Mentor of the Year: Annie Savage

You can catch some of these pickers, performers and bands this week during IBMAs virtual World of Bluegrass. And soon, hopefully, you’ll be able to catch them live at festivals and shows.

Congratulations to the winners, and to all of the nominees.

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.