Johnny & the Yooahoos win IBMA International Band Performance Grant

German grassers Johnny & the Yooahoos have been selected as the recipients of the 2024 IBMA International Band Performance Grant, with provides financial assistance to an especially worthy non-US bluegrass act to allow them to travel to the States to showcase at World of Bluegrass.

This program was launched in 2022 through a generous donation from former IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger and his wife Alys, who agreed to match up to $10,000 in contributions from others for this purpose. The Schimingers have again offered this $10,000 match in 2024 for all donations made for the International Performance Grant this year.

Johnny and the Yooahoos play a tasty brand of original contemporary/traditional bluegrass. The band consists of Johnny Schuhbeck on mandolin, Bastian Schuhbeck on banjo and reso-guitar, Bernie Huber on guitar, and Jonas Kollenda on bass.

When we profiled them a few years ago for our Bluegrass Beyond Borders feature, Johnny explained the group’s unusual genesis.

“Three of us had been playing together in a progressive rock band called Karakorum and other blues rock formations. It was me, Basti on drums, Bernie on electric guitar, and Joni on electric bass. Back then, we already knew that everyone of us had a love for bluegrass, folk, and country music. After my brother Johnny got more into singing and mandolin playing, we found that we had a complete bluegrass quartet, so we thought we’d try to play out in that format and style.”

But it’s all bluegrass now for these guys, who are based in Munich, located in the Bavarian region of Germany.

Current IBMA Executive Ken White shared how much seeing such strong performers all over the world keeps him psyched about his job.

“Seeing my musical journey and love of bluegrass reflected back by musicians from the other side of the world has been a revelation. It reinforces the fact that bluegrass isn’t just international, it’s universal. We’re excited to welcome Johnny & the Yooahoos to this year’s World of Bluegrass to further our international mission and keep the journey moving forward.”

This year’s World of Bluegrass convention, along with the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards and weekend IBMA Bluegrass Live! festivals, will be the last held in Raleigh, NC. Events run from September 24-28, and registration/hotel reservations for IBMA members begins on May 8. Non-members can register starting May 15.

Anyone wanting to share a donation to the IBMA International Band Performance Grant can do so online to be matched by the Schimingers.

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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.