Sam Bush to Host 22nd International Bluegrass Music Awards
Band leader, songwriter and mandolin master, Sam Bush, is to host the 22nd annual Internation Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) on Thursday, September 29th at 7:30 p.m. at Nashville, Tn.’s
historic Ryman Auditorium.
“It is my pleasure to return as the host for the 2011 IBMA Awards,” Bush says. “As a bluegrass fan and fellow Kentuckian, it’s especially important to me on the 100th year anniversary of Bill Monroe’s birth. I look forward to spending the evening with the nominees and the winners, as this is their special night.”
Sam Bush is a Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist who is considered a musical legend before his time. He is also known as the “King of Telluride” and the “Father of Newgrass”. Having received several awards from IBMA and the Americana Music Association, it’s no wonder that Bush has been chosen to host the IBMA Awards on the year marking what would have been Bill Monroe’s 100th birthday, on September 13. Monroe is known as the “Father of Bluegrass Music”, and for playing, like Sam bush, the small, uniquely shaped, eight-stringed mandolin like a rocket into a “new realm of musical expression the world had never heard before.”
Bush has fused bluegrass music with jazz, rock, blues, funk, reggae and other styles, exponentially changing the shape and sound of bluegrass music forever. The co-founder of New Grass Revival and in-demand musician, Bush has played with everyone from Emmylou Harris and Bela Fleck to Charlie Haden, Lyle Lovett and Garth Brooks.
Bush is also a three-time National Junior Fiddle Champion and Grammy Award winning vocalist and was one of the five nominees for IBMA Song of the Year in 2010, for a song he co-wrote called, “The Ballad of Stringbean and Estelle”.
Bush’s talent and achievements have made an ever growing group of mandolin players and bluegrass artists identify Bush as their musical role model, as he idolized Bill Monroe and Jethro Burns.
“If I’ve been cited as an influence, then I’m really flattered because I still have my influences that I look up to,” Bush says. “I’m glad that I’m in there somewhere.”
“In the acoustic world I’ve been pretty lucky to play with almost every one of my heroes. I’ve gotten to play with Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs…. I’ve been to the mountain,” Bush says, smiling. But his greatest contribution may be his impact on the future. “I’m secure with what I can do and I know what I can’t do,” he says. “You just have to stand there and applaud the great young talent. Chris Thile, Wayne Benson, Shawn Lane, Matt Flinner, Ronnie McCoury, Mike Marshall—they play in ways that I can’t play,” he says of the current field of mandolin players. “I’m hoping to be around for the next generation that comes along after that group. That’s going to be something. The music keeps evolving.”
“It’s crazy to think about,” Bush says of his influence. “I’m proud to be part of a natural progression in music. And I hope to still be playing 30 years from now.”
. “I want to grow as a songwriter, as a song collaborator,” he says. “There are still a lot of things I haven’t discovered about playing mandolin. I want to be able to be secure in the styles that I know how to play well, but I also want to explore other styles that I haven’t learned yet. I want to improve as a singer,” he adds. “I have to work harder on singing than I do on playing.”
“As long as I’m alive I hope I have the ability to play,” says Bush, a two-time cancer survivor. When the ability to play is taken away, it’s humbling. It teaches you a lesson: don’t take it for granted.”
Nominations for the International Bluegrass Music Awards will be announced at a special press conference scheduled for Wednesday, August 17, 5-6 p.m. Central at The Loveless Barn in Nashville—so mark your calendars now!
For more information on World of Bluegrass, including tickets to the International Bluegrass Music Awards, go to www.ibma.org, join us on Facebook, or call 615-256-3222 (888-GET-IBMA). Tickets are on sale now at the website.
The IBMA Awards will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction, Channel 14) and will be syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks thanks to the sponsorship of Martha White, Sugar Hill Records, Deering Banjos, Compass Records and the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Program directors and station managers may sign up to be affiliates online at www.ibma.org.
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