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IBMA Announces 2017 Leadership Bluegrass Graduates

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Leadership Bluegrass 2017Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association is proud to announce the graduating class of Leadership Bluegrass 2017. Leadership Bluegrass is an intensive, three-day program focused on interactive learning and networking experiences that invite participants to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the bluegrass music industry, and pursue leadership development. This was the 18th year of Leadership Bluegrass, which now boasts over 400 alumni. Leadership Bluegrass 2017 was hosted at BMI in Nashville, Tennessee March 20 through 22.

Leadership Bluegrass is a program of the International Bluegrass Music Association. IBMA is the trade association that connects and educates bluegrass professionals, empowers the bluegrass community and encourages worldwide appreciation of bluegrass music of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Each year, participants are selected through a highly competitive application process and are a cross-section of current and future leaders from all areas of the industry, coming from various regions of the U.S. and the world.

The 2017 Leadership Bluegrass graduates are:

  • Erik Alvar, Jim Hurst Trio, Gainesville, TN
  • Lee Bidgood, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
  • Jeff Burke, Wernick Method/Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN
  • Adam Engelhardt, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Nashville, TN
  • Anna Frick, Airshow Mastering, Boulder, CO
  • Barb Heller, North Country Public Radio, Canton, NY
  • Justin Hiltner, Artist, Nashville, TN
  • Kathryn Jenkins, Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music, Sevierville, TN
  • Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Mile Twelve, Jamaica Plain, MA
  • Irene Kelley, Artist/Songwriter, Nashville, TN
  • uri kohen, Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival, County Mayo, Ireland
  • Brennen Leigh, High Plains Jamboree, Austin, TX
  • CJ Lewandowski, The Po' Ramblin' Boys/Bluegrass Today/Missouri Bluegrass Preservation Association, Sevierville, TN
  • Corrina Rose Logston, Independent Artist/High Fidelity, Whites Creek, TN
  • Laura Mainer, Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, Johnson City. TN
  • John Meyer, Museum of Appalachia/Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Clinton, TN
  • Ashley Moyer, Rounder Label Group, Nashville, TN
  • Joe Newberry, Artist, Raleigh, NC
  • Akira Otsuka, Bluegrass 45, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Ricky Gene Powell, Wintergrass/Artist-Teacher-Event Producer, Burien, WA
  • Craig Reed, Downtown Raleigh Alliance/Younger Brother Productions, Raleigh, NC
  • Bobby Rymer, Writers Den Music Group, Nashville, TN
  • John Smith, Free Dirt Records & Service Co, Washington DC
  • Bill Thibodeau, Rick’s Musical Instruments/Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance, Cumberland, RI
  • Kris Truelsen, Radio Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol, VA
  • Rachel Whitney, Pandora Media, Nashville, TN

According to IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger, “A central focus of the IBMA’s mission is to connect and educate bluegrass professionals. Leadership Bluegrass has become an essential and highly popular program to help fulfill that mission. It is a hands-on, intensive experience for those who are shaping our music and its industry. I salute and thank the Class of 2017 for participating and for making an important commitment to their careers and our entire bluegrass community. I also want to thank the Leadership Bluegrass Planning Committee for their excellent work and Jean Spivey for her tremendous leadership as the committee’s Chair for these past two years!”

Trisha Tubbs served as the course facilitator, her 7th consecutive year, and Tim Kruzic was her assistant.
Sponsors for Leadership Bluegrass include BMI, Wintergrass, Rick Spratt, Bluegrass Heritage Foundation and Williams Mullen.

Appearing in photo:
Front: Bobby Rymer, Justin Hiltner, Craig Reed, Irene Kelley, Laura Mainer, Kathryn Jenkins, uri kohen
2nd Row: Ashley Moyer, Rachel Whitney, Kris Truelsen, Anna Frick, John Smith, Corrina Rose Logston
3rd Row: Lee Bidgood, Ricky Gene Powell, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Akira Otsuka, Adam Engelhardt
4th Row: Brennen Leigh, Barb Heller, Erik Alvar, John Meyer, Jeff Burke
Back Row: Bill Thibodeau, CJ Lewandoski, Joe Newberry

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