IBMA announces new award for drummers

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced this morning the addition of a new honor among its annual International Bluegrass Music Awards. Starting in 2019, professional members of the organization will be able to vote for Bluegrass Drummer of the Year.

Both snare players and full kit drummers will be eligible for this award. Proposals to recognize washboard, triangle and spoons were made to the Board of Directors, but not accepted for this year.

This morning’s press release from Nashville shared more details…

IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger says of the new Bluegrass Drummer of the Year Award, “Drums have long been an essential part of bluegrass. Today’s great drummers and cajon players have built upon the foundation laid down by legends like Buddy Harman, Murray Harman, Willie Ackerman, and Doug Kirkham who helped elevate Flatt & Scruggs, The Osborne Brothers, and Jimmy Martin to Hall of Fame status. Finally, the true essence of bluegrass rhythm has a place of honor with this new IBMA Award!”

The IBMA is excited to have the early support of SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction around this new instrumentalist award. Kyle Cantrell tells the IBMA, “I think it’s a very shrewd move. Here at Bluegrass Junction, we’re adopting a policy of not playing any songs WITHOUT drums. Clearly, the times they are a-changin’. Glad to see the IBMA jump on board!”

It is rumored that upon getting wind of this news, Ringo Starr was overheard commenting, “I’m thrilled with the IBMA’s decision, even if it is 60 years too late. The Beatles’ true dream, from our days in Liverpool, was to play the bluegrass circuit from Bean Blossom to Watermelon Park but were concerned the drums would be controversial despite Flatt & Scruggs and Jimmy Martin using them, so we voted to stick with Rock & Roll instead. I guess it all worked out, but we would have been one hell of a bluegrass band!”

In the planning stages for additional recognition of bluegrass percussionists in 2019, look for a round-the-clock Will the Drum Circle Be Unbroken jam to run in the lobby of the Marriott City Center in Raleigh from 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning through Sunday morning 9:00 a.m. during World of Bluegrass.

For further details, check today’s date.

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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.