Grammy-winning country vocalist Lee Ann Womack and Grammy-winning musician Jerry Douglas will host IBMA’s 25th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for October 2 at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Known as bluegrass music’s biggest night of the year, the International Bluegrass Music Awards acknowledges the year’s outstanding talent and achievements, honors new Hall of Fame inductees, and waves the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.
“Aside from the fact that each has a boatload of undeniable talent and personality, Jerry Douglas and Lee Ann Womack share a musical outlook that has plenty of room for creativity and innovation on the one hand, and for a love and mastery of tradition on the other,” said IBMA Board chair Jon Weisberger. “It’s a perfect combination, and one that exemplifies the enduring vitality of our kinds of music. To say that we’re excited about having these folks hosting our awards is an understatement.”
Womack slipped into Raleigh during last year’s World of Bluegrass to enjoy a grassroots fan’s perspective, catching Wide Open Bluegrass and street fair artists, listening in to some of the many jam sessions (occasionally acceding to requests to sing from pickers who recognized her), and enjoying the Awards Show that she now looks forward to hosting with Jerry Douglas.
“Last year, I came as a fan – and I loved every moment of World of Bluegrass!” Womack said. “The joy everybody has about the music, the quality of the playing, seeing old friends, discovering new artists and even meeting Tony Rice! To be a part of the IBMA Awards is such an honor, I can’t tell you… and to get to co-host with Jerry Douglas? How lucky can one girl get?!”
IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2; the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2; Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Tickets for the Award Show, as well as for the ticketed portion of Wide Open Bluegrass (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages), Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration and hotel reservations – along with additional details and pricing information – are available through IBMA’s website, ibma.org.