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Bill Monroe's 100th 3-Day Birthday Celebration at Bluegrass Museum

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Bill MonroeAll members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame who can still travel will perform with their respective bands during the International Bluegrass Music Museum's Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration, September 12, 13 & 14, 2011. The 3-day celebration takes place at the International Bluegrass Music Museum and RiverPark Center's Cannon Hall in Owensboro, KY. The event celebrates the life and 100th birthday of Bill Monroe, popularly known as the Father of Bluegrass Music, who was born in nearby Rosine, Kentucky on September 13, 1911.

Performers include Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Jesse McReynolds, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Osborne, Eddie Adcock, Tom Gray, Curly Seckler, Everett Lilly, The Lewis Family, Bill Clifton, Doug Dillard, Rodney Dillard, Melvin Goins, and Paul Williams. Special guests include Fletcher Bright and The Dismembered Tennesseans, and the guest of honor, James Monroe, who will be performing with his band. James performed with his father Bill Monroe for many years as one of the Blue Grass Boys.

Tickets to the Centennial Celebration are limited to 1,500 and are sold in advance by reservation only. Ticket prices are tiered for the three days filled with exclusive events, concerts, exhibits, interviews and more. Three-day passes range from $100 to $175 and can be purchased online or by phone. For detailed information, tickets and a printable schedule of activities and performances, visit the home page on the Bluegrass Museum's web site, or call the museum at 270-926-7891.

One of the most compelling features of the museum's Centennial Celebration is a full-scale reunion of 80 or more Pioneers of Bluegrass—musicians who began working before 1960—and Blue Grass Boys, veterans of Bill Monroe's band over the years. The Pioneers and Blue Grass Boys will perform on stage and interact informally during jams, discussions and as audience members. This is a once-in-a-life opportunity to spend three days with the legendary musicians who played a crucial role in shaping one of this nation's few original music genres.

During the Centennial Celebration, the museum will premier a documentary film by Joe Terrance Gray, the museum's Video Oral History Project director since 2004. This documentary tells the story of Bill Monroe as told by the Blue Grass Boys' remembrances through the decades. This 2-hour film has been many years in the making and includes dozens of riveting interviews with bluegrass music's iconic first and second generation performers. An exhibit of the Blue Grass Boys' artifacts will open, as well as an exhibit by photographer and former Blue Grass Boy, Gene Lowinger. The museum will also premier an original musical by Rick Miller based on Bill Monroe's life called Young Monroe. The cast includes hundreds of area elementary school students who have collaborated in composing some of the original music for the musical, along with community actors, dancers, musicians and artists.

The Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration will take place immediately following the 6th annual Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp, a one-of-a-kind camp devoted to teaching the unique mandolin style of Bill Monroe. The camp takes place September 9-11, 2011 at the Bluegrass Museum. There will be an All-Star Faculty Camp Concert on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra's headquarters, 211 E. 2nd Street, next door to the Bluegrass Museum's offices. Tickets are $20 and are limited to the first 150 who make reservations. For details and reservations, call the Museum at 270-926-7891.

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