2023 IBMA Industry and Momentum Awards nominees

This morning the International Bluegrass Music Association has announced the nominees for their 2023 Industry and Momentum Awards. Both these nominees and the ultimate winners are chosen by select committees of IBMA members chosen for this purpose, in a multi-stage process of voting.

The IBMA Industry Awards are given to honor crucial areas of the business other than performing artists, whose contributions are critical to the continuation and furtherance of the music.

And the 2023 Industry Award nominees are:

Writer of the Year

  • Chris Jones 
  • Craig Havighurst 
  • Garret K. Woodward 
  • Gary Reid 
  • Stacy Chandler 

Songwriter of the Year

  • Becky Buller
  • Jon Weisberger
  • Rick Faris 
  • Thomm Jutz 
  • Tim Stafford 

Sound Engineer of the Year

  • Aubrey Shamel
  • Brad Benge
  • Dewey Boyd
  • Key Chang
  • Steve Chandler

Broadcaster of the Year

  • Barb Heller
  • Brad Kolodner 
  • Michelle Lee
  • Ned Luberecki 
  • Peter Thompson 

Graphic Designer of the Year 

  • Eric Barie 
  • Gina Dilg
  • Grace van’t Hof
  • Pharis & Jason Romero 
  • Tim Kapustka

Liner Notes of the Year

  • Birthright: A Black Roots Music Compendium – Written by Ted Olsen
  • Dom Flemmons – Traveling Wildfire – Written by Dom Flemmons
  • Jake Blount – The New Faith – Written by Jake Blount
  • Pharis & Jason Romero – Tell ’em You Were Gold – Written by Pharis & Jason Romero 
  • Sam Bush – Radio John: The Songs of John Hartford  – Written by Sam Bush and Jon Weisberger

Event of the Year

  • Blue Highway Fest – Big Stone Gap, Virginia
  • Bluegrass in La Roche – La Roche-sur-Foron, France
  • Doc at 100 – Various locations
  • Durango Bluegrass Meltdown – Durango, Colorado
  • Pickin’ in the Pines – Flagstaff, Arizona

The Momentum Awards are a special category of honors, given to artists and industry professionals in the early stages of their careers whose contributions are worthy of special note. The exception is the Mentor of the Year, which is chosen to highlight the work of more experienced artists and others who give of their time to assist these developing artists.

And the 2023 Momentum Award nominees are:

Mentor of the Year

  • Austin Scelzo 
  • Dan Boner 
  • Louisa Branscomb 
  • Ruth McLain Smith
  • Scott Napier 

Industry Involvement

  • Daniel Mullins 
  • Katie Kirchner 
  • Maggie Rainwater 
  • Matt Hutchinson 
  • Mike Kaiz 


  • Carley Arrowood 
  • Crystal Lariza 
  • Nick Dumas 
  • Starlett Austin 
  • Tianna Lefebvre

Instrumentalist (2 are chosen)

  • Anthony Howell 
  • Alex Genova 
  • Gavin Largent 
  • Jake Eddy
  • Josiah Nelson 
  • Maddie Dalton 
  • Michael Prewitt


  • Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band
  • The Fretliners 
  • Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra 
  • Never Come Down 

Winners will be announced during the 2023 World of Bluegrass convention. Momentum Awards are presented on September 27, and the Industry Awards on September 28, both at special luncheon presentations open to all registered World of Bluegrass attendees. Full week and one day registration details can be found online.

Congratulations and best of luck to all the nominees!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.