Nashville, TN -- Grammy-winning banjoist and Compass Records Group co-founder Alison Brown is among 34 artists to receive a USA Fellowship from United States Artists. The recipients of this year's awards were announced this week and selected by a panel of expert peers in each artistic discipline. "USA Fellowships are awarded to innovative artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers, who are nominated for their commitment to excellence and the enduring potential of their work," said United States Artists CEO Carolina Garcia Jayaram. "Our Fellows embody originality across every creative discipline, celebrating the broad range of artistic practices in every region of the country, and cultivating a creative ecology that is diverse in age, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation."
Three of the 34 winners this year are in the field of music and include Meshell Ndegeocello and Daoud Haroon in addition to Brown. The 2014 Fellows join previous years' winners in music including Bill Frisell, Lila Downs, Wu Man, Joanie Madden (Cherish the Ladies), and Compass Records label mates Claire Lynch, Michael Doucet (BeauSoleil) and Rob Ickes.
Commenting on the award, Brown said: "I'm deeply honored to have my music be recognized by United States Artists and to join such an impressive and talented community of USA Fellows. The support and recognition of this organization really validates my musical mission for the banjo and I'm excited by the artistic opportunities that this grant is going to create." This honor comes on the heels of a banner night for Compass Records at the International Bluegrass Music Awards earlier this month including 7 awards and wins for Brown as producer and instrumental guest on the winning albums for Recorded Event of the Year and Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year.
Compass Co-Founder Alison Brown Awarded 2014 USA Artists Berresford Fellowship and $50,000 Grant
Brown's musical journey began when she left her investment banking career to join Alison Krauss and Union Station 25 years ago. Since then she has gained a reputation as one of the pre-eminent banjo players in the world, expanding the musical horizons for the instrument and taking it far beyond its Appalachian roots. She has recorded 10 critically acclaimed albums, received a Grammy and 4 Grammy nominations and has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR's All Things Considered and in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Together with her Quartet she has performed at listening rooms and festivals across the US and abroad including The Newport Folk Festival, The New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry and alongside several major symphony orchestras.
Brown is also co-founder of the internationally recognized Compass Records Group which oversees over 600 titles across the Compass, Green Linnet and Mulligan imprints and has been called by Billboard Magazine "one of the greatest independent labels." Brown is currently at work on a new project slated for an April 2015 release which will coincide with Compass Records' 20th anniversary.