Lynn Morris, a national champion banjo player and award-winning vocalist, is this year’s winner of the Washington Monument Award, presented by the D.C. Bluegrass Union.
Lynn is best known as the leader of the Lynn Morris Band and as a first-rate vocalist. She was once voted IBMA’s female vocalist of the year and was named traditional female vocalist of the year seven straight times by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America. She also won IBMA’s song of the year award for her rendition of Mama’s Hand. That song was written by Hazel Dickens, a previous winner of the Monument trophy.
But Lynn was a true pioneer of the banjo. In 1974, she became the first woman to win the national banjo championship, and she repeated the feat in 1981. As she continues to recover from a stroke, Lynn has become a top-shelf sound engineer. She lives in Winchester, Va., with her husband and musical partner, bass player Marshall Wilborn.
The award will be presented at the fourth annual D.C. Bluegrass Festival, being held Feb. 22 and 23 in suburban Washington. Prior winners, in addition to Hazel Dickens, were Bill Emerson, Tom Gray and Eddie Adcock.