It’s that time of year again, folks. Time for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual request for help in selecting nominees for their 2015 Momentum Awards. This is their series of special awards to honor new artists and business people in the bluegrass world, and give them a boost when it can really make a difference.
But instead of multiple rounds of balloting among the professional membership, as is the case for the main IBMA Awards, for the Momentum Awards the organization asks for suggestions from the wider bluegrass community. The idea is that a rising regional artist, festival, luthier, or journalist worthy of note may not be familiar to those focusing on the national scene, and they therefore depend on nominee recommendations from the rest of us.
Momentum Awards are given to five performers – one band, one vocalist, and three instrumentalists – recognized as exhibiting both skill and expertise, plus a sort of industry savvy. There are also awards given for a music venue, industry involvement, and mentoring of young artists.
The criteria for these awards are a bit cumbersome, but are published online for clarification. The complexity arises in creating definitions that allow for the inclusion of young, upcoming talent without specifically limiting them to an age range. Qualifications are more broadly based on recent entry into the biz.
The IBMA provides a simple online form for submitting nominees. You can include suggestions for any of the six categories:
- Momentum Band
- Momentum Vocalist
- Momentum Instrumentalist (3 awarded)
- Momentum Festival/Event/Venue
- Momentum Industry Involvement
- Momentum Mentor
In using the form, you will be asked to provide a potential nominee’s name, contact information, band affiliation (if any), and a description of why they should qualify. These suggestions are passed along to a selection committee who will ultimately choose the nominees. You are not required to identify yourself in the process.
These Momentum Awards are a new feature, distributed only this past few years, but they have generated a real buzz among new artists and bands. The IBMA appreciates any help the community can offer in pointing them in the right direction.
Nominations must be made by August 5.