Congratulations to the Leadership Bluegrass class of 2017

The Leadership Bluegrass Class of 2017 – photo by Alane Anno

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced the names of the successful graduates of their 2017 Leadership Bluegrass class. The three-day program in Nashville brings together potential future leaders in the bluegrass community for an series of workshops and panels to discover and discuss important issues facing the music business world.

2017 marked the 18th consecutive year for Leadership Bluegrass, which has seen more than 400 graduates over that time. Participants are selected in a competitive process each year, and attendees pay their own way and a fee for the seminars, though some scholarship assistance is available.

IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger salutes the program and its graduates.

“A central focus of the IBMA’s mission is to connect and educate bluegrass professionals. Leadership Bluegrass has become an essential and highly popular program to help fulfill that mission. It is a hands-on, intensive experience for those who are shaping our music and its industry. I salute and thank the Class of 2017 for participating and for making an important commitment to their careers and our entire bluegrass community. I also want to thank the Leadership Bluegrass Planning Committee for their excellent work and Jean Spivey for her tremendous leadership as the committee’s Chair for these past two years!”

Members of the 2017 class include:

  • Erik Alvar – Jim Hurst Trio, Gainesville, TN
  • Lee Bidgood – East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
  • Jeff Burke – Wernick Method/Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN
  • Adam Engelhardt – Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Nashville, TN
  • Anna Frick – Airshow Mastering, Boulder, CO
  • Barb Heller – North Country Public Radio, Canton, NY
  • Justin Hiltner – Artist, Nashville, TN
  • Kathryn Jenkins – Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music, Sevierville, TN
  • Bronwyn Keith-Hynes – Mile Twelve, Jamaica Plain, MA
  • Irene Kelley – Artist/Songwriter, Nashville, TN
  • uri kohen – Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival, County Mayo, Ireland       
  • Brennen Leigh, -High Plains Jamboree, Austin, TX
  • CJ Lewandowski – The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys/Bluegrass Today/Missouri Bluegrass Preservation Association, Sevierville, TN
  • Corrina Rose Logston – Independent Artist/High Fidelity, Whites Creek, TN
  • Laura Mainer – Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, Johnson City. TN
  • John Meyer – Museum of Appalachia/Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Clinton, TN
  • Ashley Moyer – Rounder Label Group, Nashville, TN
  • Joe Newberry – Artist, Raleigh, NC
  • Akira Otsuka, -Bluegrass 45, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Ricky Gene Powell – Wintergrass/Artist-Teacher-Event Producer, Burien, WA
  • Craig Reed – Downtown Raleigh Alliance/Younger Brother Productions, Raleigh, NC
  • Bobby Rymer – Writers Den Music Group, Nashville, TN
  • John Smith – Free Dirt Records & Service Co, Washington DC
  • Bill Thibodeau – Rick’s Musical Instruments/Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance, Cumberland, RI
  • Kris Truelsen – Radio Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol, VA
  • Rachel Whitney – Pandora Media, Nashville, TN

The course facilitator this year was Trisha Tubbs, assisted by Tim Kruzic.

Further details about Leadership Bluegrass can be found online.

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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.