Saturday was a really big day at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, packed full with all sorts of great workshops, monitored slow jams, spontaneous jam sessions throughout the hotel rooms and lobbies, and of course great musical acts on the Showcase Stage and Main Stage. They even had a slot on the main stage titled “Don’t Miss This Band!” The surprise band turned out to be Della Mae who had the advanced group of the Kids Academy sit in with them at the end of their set. The stages had performances with a great blend of fresh new faces, local favorites, and true bluegrass legends.
The Boston Bluegrass Union also presents Heritage awards each year to honor people who have made substantial contributions to furthering bluegrass in the New England region. The late Mike Kropp received the Artist and Industry Award for his many years as a performer and work in various roles of the music business throughout his life. The Industry Award went to Candi Sawyer from Vermont who has presented many concert series and the popular Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival among other musical activities and projects over the years.