Category Archives: Awards

Caribbean Star Calypso Rose Receives WOMEX 2016 Artist Award

Calypso Rose is presented with the WOMEX 2016 Artist Award by her laudator (WOMEX 2007 Award winner) Ivan Duran. - Photograph by Eric van Nieuwland.
Calypso Rose is presented with the WOMEX 2016 Artist Award by her laudator (WOMEX 2007 Award winner) Ivan Duran. – Photograph by Eric van Nieuwland.

Acclaimed calypso vocalist Calypso Rose (Trinidad & Tobago) was presented with the WOMEX 2016 Artist Award in a ceremony held earlier today in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

I would especially like to thank WOMEX, the World Music Expo…but now I want to keep you on your feet by dancing!,” said Calypso Rose, from Tobago, who ended the closing ceremony delivering a special performance accompanied on stage by the all-star Calypso Sound System featuring Drew Gonsalves and other members of Kobo Town.


Music School 4Elementos Skuela Receives WOMEX 2016 Professional Excellence Award

Henry Arteaga receives the WOMEX 2016 Professional Exellence Award on behalf of the 4Elementos Skuela that he founded. Photograph by Eric van Nieuwland
Henry Arteaga receives the WOMEX 2016 Professional Exellence Award on behalf of the 4Elementos Skuela that he founded. Photograph by Eric van Nieuwland


Colombian hip-hop school 4Elementos Skuela received the Professional Excellence Award.

Our neighborhood and our school are more alive and happier than ever and it is them who really deserve the applause,” said founder Henry Arteaga. “I am ashamed that in my country thousands of people think more can be achieved through war instead of through peace. Music on the other hand, born from the soul, is made to connect one another. The WOMEX Award ancient goddess figurine represents a mother – and we may have forgotten it, but this signifies something very special – love. This Award thus for me is a symbol of what we need now for rescuing my country and its future.”


International Bluegrass Music Awards 2016 Winners Announced

Earls of Leicester
Earls of Leicester

The International Bluegrass Music Awards 2016 winners were revealed on Thursday, September 29. The Earls of Leicester, Flatt Lonesome and Becky Buller won multiple awards.

List of winners:

Entertainer of the Year
The Earls of Leicester

Female Vocalist of the Year
Becky Buller

Male Vocalist of the Year
Danny Paisley

Vocal Group of the Year
Flatt Lonesome

Instrumental Group of the Year
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Song of the Year
“You’re the One,” Flatt Lonesome

Album of the Year
Runaway Train, Flatt Lonesome

Flatt Lonesome - Runaway Train
Flatt Lonesome – Runaway Train

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year
“All Dressed Up,” Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers

Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year
“Fireball,” Special Consensus featuring Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley and Alison Brown

Emerging Artist of the Year
Mountain Faith

Recorded Event of the Year
“Longneck Blues,” Junior Disk and Ronnie Bowman

Banjo Player of the Year
Charlie Cushman

Bass Player of the Year
Barry Bales

Dobro Player of the Year

Jerry Douglas

Fiddle Player of the Year
Becky Buller

Guitar Player of the Year
Bryan Sutton

Mandolin Player of the Year
Sierra Hull

Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductees

Clarence White
Rounder Records founders Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton-Levy and Bill Nowlin

Distinguished Achievement Awards

Bluegrass Unlimited magazine
Boston Bluegrass Union
Bill Emerson
Jim Rooney
SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction


Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen Win 2016 IBMA Award for Instrumental Group of the Year

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen received the IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year award at the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Awards. The group first won this category in 2014.

Solivan’s recent solo album Family, Friends & Heroes (Compass Records) was released on March 4. A tribute to Solivan’s musical heroes, the project includes Dirty Kitchen members, some of Solivan’s own family, and special guests John Cowan, Jerry Douglas and Sam Bush, Jim Hurst, Del McCoury, and more.

Frank Solivan - Family, Friends & Heroes
Frank Solivan – Family, Friends & Heroes

Upcoming tour dates include:

October 1 – Bluegrass by the Bay – Ocean City, Maryland.
October 15 – The Hamilton – Washington, D.C.
October 22 – LEAF Festival – Black Mountain, North Carolina.
November 12 – Riverhawk Music Festival – Brooksville, Florida.


Results of 16th Annual Native American Music Awards

The 16th Annual Native American Music Awards were announced on Saturday September 17th, 2016. A special appearance was made by the family of nominee Joseph Flying Bye, whose recording, Putting The Moccasins Back On, was posthumously nominated in two categories. His son, Allen Flying Bye and ten other family members, drove all the way from Standing Rock, North Dakota to the show. In a display of unity and solidarity, they received an overwhelming response from the attendees supporting their opposition of the Dakota Access pipeline. Recently, nominees of the Native American Music Awards contributed their songs to a free CD titled, Water Is Life to support the Standing Rock Sioux Community.

Traditional performances were held by the Awards’ youngest nominee and rising star, 12 year-old hand drummer, Nizhoo Sullivan, as well as Theresa Bear Fox and the Akwesasne Women Singers, and Joseph Fire Crow who also picked up the rhythm with a contemporary song performed with the Ed Koban house band.

Shelley Morningsong
Shelley Morningsong

Shelley Morningsong took the coveted Artist of the Year award, and ruled the stage with a notable performance of singing and playing flute as her husband and musical partner, Fabian Fontenelle performed in his stunning ceremonial outfit.

Native American Music Awards 2016 Winners

Artist of the Year

Shelley Morningsong
Love Medicine

Best Blues Recording
All Our Relations
Blue Mountain Tribe

Best Country Recording
Reservation Girl
Desert West

Debut Artist
Logan Staats
Goodbye Goldia

Debut Duo Of The Year
David Rose & Pete Barnhart
Falling To Grace

Best Female Vocalist
Fawn Wood

Best Folk Spoken Word Recording
Native American Songs & Stories for Children
Sue Straw

Flutist of The Year
Rona Yellow Robe
Shoot For the Moon

Group of the Year
Rain Dance
Lil Mike & FunnyBone

Best Inspirational Recording
Heart and Soul
Conrad Benally

Best Historical Recording
Mackenzie’s Raid
7 Trees

Best Instrumental Recording
The Navajo Piano
Connor Chee

Best Male Vocalist
Roman Orona
Circling Spirits Contemporary Apache Songs

Best Pop Recording
Stupid In Love
Spencer Battiest

Best Pow Wow Recording
Born To Sing
Young Bear

Best Rap/Hip Hop Recording
The Addiction
Night Shield

Record of the Year
Bridge Creek Road
Jim Boyd

Best Rock Recording
Spirit Cry
Spirit Cry

Single of the Year
Come and Get Your Love
B. of Dakota South Records

Best Traditional Recording
Sisters in Spirit
Women of Heart

Best Music Video
Rez Life
Blue Flamez

Best Waila Recording
In Loving Memory of Our Beloved Father & Uncle
Family Pride

Native Heart
Michael Longrider
In Through the Mist

Entertainers of the Year
Williams & Ree

Lifetime Achievement
Joseph FireCrow

Living Legend
Saginaw Grant

Hall Of Fame


Songlines Music Awards 2016 Winners’s Concert in London

Debashish Bhattacharya
Debashish Bhattacharya

Fado star Mariza, Malian band Songhoy Blues, Indian guitar maestro Debashish Bhattacharya and Sam Lee & friends are set to perform on October 3rd at Barbican Hall in London. These four world music acts are winners of this year’s Songlines Music Awards.

Launched in 2008, the Songlines Music Awards honor the diversity of musical talent across the globe featured in Songlines magazine. Votes for the Awards came in from Songlines readers, contributors and the general public.



Calypso Rose Recipient of WOMEX 2016

Calypso Rose by Richard Holder
Calypso Rose – Photo by Richard Holder

The WOMEX 2016 Artist Award will go to Calypso Rose, the acclaimed singer from Trinidad & Tobago and composer of numerous hit calypsos. Calypso Rose will receiving the prestigious award in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) on October 23, 2016. The 76 year-old Calypso star will perform together with members of Kobo Town.

Calypso Rose started her remarkable career in the 1950s. Rose first performed at WOMEX in 2006, where she was scheduled to showcase as part of the Calypso@Dirty Jim’s all-star ensemble, but the band could not appear due to travel complications, so Calypso Rose spontaneously took on the show, accompanied only by piano, and had a great response from the adience.

A singer-songwriter and activist, Calypso Rose has received numerous awards and titles and won all relevant competitions. It was for her that the ‘Calypso King’ competition was changed to the gender-neutral ‘Calypso Monarch’.

I am honored to receive the prestigious WOMEX Artist Award,” sayd Calypso Rose about the WOMEX award. “Although I have received many, many awards from governments, institutions etc. in my life, I still feel very honoured to receive this specific award, which is a global one. It is a special recognition, also for my fans all over the world. They will be happy to know I’m receiving this award. For that I thank you.”

Two of her most recent recordings are Far From Home and Queen Of Trinidad.


British-Indian composer and musician, Baluji Shrivastav Receives OBE Award

Baluji Shrivastav - Photo by Simon Richardson
Baluji Shrivastav – Photo by Simon Richardson

Musician Dhanonday Shrivastav, also known as Baluji Shrivastav, has been awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honors List as “Musician, Instrumentalist and Founder, Inner Vision Orchestra. For services to Music.”

Baluji Shrivastav is a British-Indian multi-instrumentalist who overcame blindness from 8 months old to become one of the world’s leading sitar players. As a classical Indian multi-instrumentalist, Baluji Shrivastav has performed and recorded with some of the greatest tabla accompanists such as Anindo Chatterji and Ustad Fayaz Khan. Baluji has performed throughout the world recording albums with Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack, Annie Lennox, Noel Gallagher and Madness. In 2012 Baluji performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games alongside the British Paraorchestra and Coldplay.

Born in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in 1959, Baluji undertook his first musical training at Ajmer’s Blind School on traditional instruments including the sitar, dilruba, surbahar, pakhavaj and tabla. From there, Baluji went on to graduate from University of Lucknow with a B.A. in Vocal Studies and Sitar. This was shortly followed by a further BA in Tabla and an MA in Sitar from Alahabad University.

Baluji moved to London in 1982 where he signed to world and folk music record label ARC Music and went on to release 8 albums including: ‘Classical Indian Sitar & Surbahar Ragas’, ‘Classical Indian Ragas – Shadow of the Lotus’ and ‘Baluji Shrivastav’s Re-Orient – Indian World Music Fusion – featuring Hossam Ramzy’.

Baluji Shrivastav - Photo by Simon Richardson
Baluji Shrivastav – Photo by Simon Richardson

Baluji Shrivastav’s compositions appear in a wide range of films, theatre and television, including a series of commissioned works such as ‘Portraits of the Dark’, ‘Sitar-Guitar Suites’, ‘Indian in London’ and the world’s only Urdu oration ‘Sohini and Mahival’ which he composed together with Oscar Winner Dario Marianelli. Baluji’s music has featured in Disney’s 2014 ‘Million Dollar Arm”, 20th Century Fox’s ‘New Girl’ as well as multiple episodes of NBC’s ‘Outsourced’.

By 2008, Baluji established the Baluji Music Foundation, a London based charity which, as stated on their website, aims to promote “the understanding and enjoyment of music and performing arts from the Indian Sub-Continent in all its traditional and evolving forms”. The Charity particularly welcomes the participation of disabled people in music, and has thus founded the Inner Vision Orchestra of blind and visually impaired musicians.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2016 recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals across the UK’s many communities.


MerleFest 2016 Announces Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners

MerleFest 2016 honoring the winners of the 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The finalists are pictured with Jim Lauderdale and the judges of the contest. Photo by Jim Thompson
MerleFest 2016 honoring the winners of the 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The finalists are pictured with Jim Lauderdale and the judges of the contest. Photo by Jim Thompson

Yesterday evening, bluegrass and American roots music festival MerleFest announced the winners of the 2016 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Writers of the following 12 songs were selected from 744 entries and competed on the Austin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 29.

MerleFest 2016 winners:

1st Place – Aaron Bibelhauser (Louisville, Ky.) – “Blue Collar Dreams”
2nd Place – Courtney Rorrer (Madison, N.C.) and Asa Gravley (Beckley, West Va.) – “Midnight Tears”
3rd Place – Cindy Giejda (Farmingdale, N.J.) – “Jail Break”

1st Place – Marcy Each (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – “On the Cross Built for Me”
2nd Place – Austin Stanley (Nashville, Tenn.) – “The Face of God”
3rd Place – Corey Smith and Allen Smith (Fayetteville, N.C.) – “The Road”

1st Place – Buddy Guido (Mohawk, N.Y.), Paul Kelly (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Willie Scheollkopf (Buffalo, N.Y.) – “This Livin’ May Be Killing Me”
2nd Place – Sarah Morris (Shoreview, Minn.) – “I Go Back”
3rd Place – Meris Gantt of Handlebar Betty (Blowing Rock, N.C) – “House of Cards”

1st Place – Sarah Sample (Sheridan, Wyo.) – “A Heart That Falls Apart”
1st Place – Adam Bonomo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – “Redshifted”
2nd Place – David Morris (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Chris Dockins (Burke, Va.) – “Weeds”

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale served as volunteer contest chairperson. The on-site judges for the final round were critically acclaimed bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Milan Miller; 2013 CASC winner and founding member of acclaimed Americana trio Red June John Cloyd Miller: and singer-songwriter Sarah Potenza, best known for her recent success on NBC’s “The Voice” and second place win in the 2014 CASC. All finalists took part in a songwriting mentoring session with Jim Lauderdale and the on-site judges.

The first place winners in each category received $600 cash from MerleFest, performed on the Cabin Stage on Friday night to rave reviews and were even joined at one point by superstar bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland as a special surprise.

The first round of the CASC competition takes place in Nashville, Tennessee and is narrowed down to 12 finalists representing four categories: bluegrass, country, general and gospel/inspirational.

Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential. The contest is open to those whose primary source of income (50 percent or more) is not derived from songwriting or publishing.

The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairperson Jim Lauderdale. Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential.

Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception the scholarship has awarded over $38,000 to 81 deserving students. Previous winners of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via and Johnny Williams.

For more details about the contest, visit


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