News

Bluegrass Heritage Foundation presents
Bluegrass Star Award® to Del McCoury

October 17, 2015
Del McCoury Star Award PresentationDel McCoury, a GRAMMY-winning National Heritage Fellow and member International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame, was honored with the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation’s Bluegrass Star Award® on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival and Chili Cook-Off in the Farmers Branch Historical Park in Farmers Branch, Texas.

“In 2010, the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation began a tradition of honoring bluegrass artists who do an exemplary job of advancing the music and bringing it to new audiences while preserving its character and heritage,” said Alan W. Tompkins, president and founder of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.  The previous Bluegrass Star Awards® have been awarded to Rhonda Vincent, J. D. Crowe, Peter Rowan, and Sierra Hull.Del McCoury Star Award  “Del McCoury has had an incredible lifetime career in bluegrass music spanning the better part of six decades.  He’s won almost every award given to musicians in our industry, including a GRAMMY and a National Heritage Fellowship Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, has played bluegrass music on national television, and was a Bluegrass Boy alongside Bill Monroe.  You just can’t get much more ‘true bluegrass’ than that.  Del McCoury has played and recorded with artists as diverse as Phish, the String Cheese Incident, and Steve Earle, bringing the bluegrass sound to audiences far and wide.  Del has brought bluegrass music to many who might never have heard it or been interested in it before hearing him, and is an ideal recipient for our Bluegrass Heritage Foundation Bluegrass Star Award®.”  For more information about Del McCoury, visit the Del McCoury Band website.  Watch the award presentation video below, courtesy of David Seay Productions for highlights of Del’s career – in Del’s own words.  Photos are courtesy of Julie Tompkins.

Bluegrass Heritage President Alan Tompkins Receives Prestigious IBMA Award

September 30, 2015
IBMA Momentum AwardAlan W. Tompkins, President and founder of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, was honored with the 2015 Momentum Award for Industry Involvement by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) at a luncheon on September 30 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass.  The Momentum Award for Industry Involvement honors exemplary efforts by the recipient to further the careers of a new generation of musicians and industry professionals.

The Momentum Awards were created to recognize musicians and industry professionals who, while in the early stages of their careers, have contributed to, or had an influence on, bluegrass music.  Starting with recommendations from IBMA members, nominees are chosen by committees in a process involving respected musicians and industry leaders.

Alan commented that “it’s such an honor to receive an award like this, to be recognized and appreciated by your colleagues in the bluegrass music world, that I almost don’t know what to say.  What I do know is that without the support of our Bluegrass Heritage Foundation family – our volunteers, our sponsors, our donors, staffers, board members, and the folks who attend our events, none of this would have ever been possible.  I really owe this award, and such a debt of gratitude, to our Bluegrass Heritage Foundation family.”

Nine-year-old fiddler Lylah Clark to attend Walker Creek Music Camp on
Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program

Lylah Clark Playing FiddleSeptember 22, 2015
Nine-year-old fiddler Lylah Clark of Diamond Springs, California will attend the Walker Creek Music Camp at the beautiful Walker Creek Ranch in West Marin Clark Family BandCounty, California, just north of San Francisco (October 8-11) under the Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program from the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.  Lylah has been playing fiddle since she was seven years old and loves old-time and bluegrass music.  She enjoys playing traditional acoustic music with her father (yes, his name is Joe Clark) and younger sisters in the Clark family band.  The Walker Creek faculty will include our friends from the Special Consensus – Greg Cahill, Rick Faris, Dustin Benson, and Dan Eubanks – and many other widely-known players.

The Mr. Johnny Vincent Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program is named in memory of Mr. Johnny Vincent of Greentop, Missouri, a bluegrass pioneer and the father of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation’s first Bluegrass Star Award recipient, Rhonda Vincent, and bluegrass star Darrin Vincent.  Johnny and his family toured the world as the Sally Mountain Show, performing their special brand of bluegrass music. He was known for his unique banjo style and founded the Sally Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Queen City, Missouri.

The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation sincerely appreciates the support of Mr. Vincent’s family and friends, our other donors and volunteers, and all who attend our events and make it possible for us to help deserving young people like Lylah Clark.

Foundation President nominated for two IBMA Momentum Awards

Alan TompkinsSeptember 8, 2015
Alan W. Tompkins, President and founder of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, has been nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for two prestigious Momentum Awards.  The winners of the 2015 Momentum Awards will be announced at a luncheon on September 30 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass.

The Momentum Awards were created to recognize both musicians and industry professionals who, while in the early stages of their careers, have contributed to, or had an influence on, bluegrass music.  Starting with recommendations from the IBMA membership, nominees are chosen by committees through a multi-stage process involving respected musicians and industry leaders.

International Bluegrass Music AssociationAlan has been nominated for both the Mentor Award, given to a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the industry, and the Industry Involvement Award.

Alan commented that “it’s a huge honor to be nominated for these awards, but nothing I’ve done would be possible without the incredible support of our Bluegrass Heritage Foundation family – our sponsors, donors, volunteers, staffers, board members, the folks who attend our events and, of course, all the incredible artists who play for (and with) us.  Any recognition that I get is really due to all of them.”  We wish Alan the best!

Rebecca Laird and Matt Laird attend Acoustic Music Camp on
Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program

Rebecca and Matt Laird, scholarship recipientsAugust 8, 2015
18-year-old banjoist Matt Laird and his guitar- and mandolin-playing sister, Rebecca Laird of Katy, Texas, attended the ninth annual Acoustic Music Camp in Arlington, Texas (August 6-8, 2015) under the Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program from the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.  Matt was inspired to play banjo about four years ago by listening to Steve Martin’s banjo performances, and Rebecca has been studying guitar, mandolin, and banjo for a number of years.  The Acoustic Music Camp faculty included Winfield-winning banjoist James McKinney along with other renowned musicians including Robert Bowlin, Tim May, Dix Bruce, Dave Hamburger, and Gerald Jones.

The Mr. Johnny Vincent Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program is named in memory of Mr. Johnny Vincent of Greentop, Missouri, a bluegrass pioneer and the father of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation’s first Bluegrass Star Award recipient, Rhonda Vincent, and bluegrass star Darrin Vincent.  Johnny and his family toured the world as the Sally Mountain Show, performing their special brand of bluegrass music. He was known for his unique banjo style and founded the Sally Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Queen City, Missouri.

The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation sincerely appreciates the support of Mr. Vincent’s family and friends, our other donors and volunteers, and all who attend our events and make it possible for us to help deserving young people like Rebecca and Matt Laird.

Wylie Jubilee – Bluegrass on Ballard – June 27 2015

Ballard Avenue, Downtown Wylie, Texas  75098

Joe Mullins & The Radio RamblersJohn R. Bowman at Wylie Jubilee 2015Lottie and Olivia King of Alvarado, Texas
The Wylie Jubilee – Bluegrass on Ballard was a huge hit, with all the fun centered around the big stage in the center of historic downtown Wylie, Texas!  Thousands enjoyed live bluegrass music as well as great food, a spectacular car show, pony rides for the kids, arts and crafts, and more – all free with no ticket required!  Check our photo gallery for lots of great event photos.

The musical lineup included Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Texas & Tennessee (with John R. Bowman, Steve Huber, Alan Tompkins, Gerald Jones, and Reggie Rueffer)  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band, In Achordance, Bobby Giles & Music Mountain, and Phil Ferguson & Texas True!

Highlights of the day were when Lottie and Olivia King of Alvarado, Texas came on stage with their musical hero John R. Bowman (formerly of Alison Krauss & Union Station, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and the Boxcars) to receive a mandolin and fiddle through the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation Play It Forward! Instrument Lending Program!  Foundation president Alan Tompkins presented the instruments to the King sisters as their family watched the festivities.

Later in the evening, Joe Mullins made a surprise presentation of a new Recording King 5-string resonator banjo for use in the Play It Forward! Instrument Lending Program.  Mr. Mullins eloquently complimented the Foundation on the good that had been done through the program, and expressed his hope that a future banjo superstar might get his or her start on the donated Recording King banjo.  Mr. Mullins noted that Janet Davis Acoustic Music of Bentonville, Arkansas endorses his group and also contributed to the donation.

This event was made possible by Wylie Downtown Merchants Association, City of WylieNorth Texas Equestrian Center, the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, and many other fine supporting sponsors.  Photos by Bob Compere.

Front Porch Showdown Bluegrass Band Contest – May 30, 2015

Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas, Texas  75215

Bobby Giles & Music MountainThe Bluegrass Heritage Foundation teamed up with Dallas Heritage Village, a shady, 20-acre tree-lined park with authentic 19th-century pioneer and Victorian homes and buildings located near downtown Dallas, for the second annual Front Porch Showdown Bluegrass Band Contest.  Nine bluegrass bands from all over Texas each had 15 minutes to take the stage, entertain the crowd, and clear out before the next band stepped in.  A total of $1,500 in prize money was on the line.  Judging was by audience ballot, with a great crowd on hand, and over 160 ballots were cast.  The winning bands were:

1st:  Bobby Giles & Music Mountain (Fort Worth, Texas)
2nd:  Strings of Faith (Plano, Texas)
3rd:  Acoustic Sound Hounds (Scurry, Texas)Bluestem
4th:  Bluestem (Dallas, Texas)
5th:  Pearl & The Polka Dots (Weatherford, Texas)

The crowd also enjoyed performances by Blue Valley Tradition, Philip Ferguson & Texas True, Pine Island Station, and Runnin’ Ragged.  Families explored the Dallas Heritage Village buildings and exhibits and enjoyed a picnic in the park.  Bluegrass music rang from the porches and pathways as jammers picked their favorite tunes all afternoon.  It was a great day of family-friendly music and fun.

Jack R. Stanford, bluegrass fan and banjo player, passes

May 17, 2015
Jack StanfordJack R. Stanford, a Dallas-area bluegrass fan and banjo player, passed away Sunday May 17, 2015.  We offer our most sincere sympathy to the Stanford family in this time of loss.

Jack was an avid bluegrass fan who loved his banjo and loved playing with others.  He enjoyed attending Acoustic Music Camp in Arlington, Texas where he organized jams and inspired others to join in and make music together.  Jack encouraged others by showing them that the real fun begins not when you perfect your instrument but when you begin to play with others.  He loved the water, sailing, hunting deer, camping, dancing, telling jokes and ghost stories. He was full of love, and had a friendly heart and a great sense of humor.  In lieu of flowers, the family has encouraged donations to the Foundation in support of bluegrass music in our community and the Play It Forward! Instrument Lending Program for kids.  Donations may be made through our donation link or by mail to:

Bluegrass Heritage Foundation
P. O. Box 25032
Dallas Texas 75225
Phone – 214-918-0010

The Play It Forward! Instrument Lending Program promotes musical understanding and performance skills in deserving young people (ages 8-21) by providing free loans of bluegrass musical instruments such as mandolins, fiddles, banjos, dobros, and guitars as well as music camp scholarships and other support.

Colby Green to attend Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy on
the Inaugural Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship

April 6, 2015
16-year-old  Colby Green of Colby GreenCosby, Tennessee will attend the 10th Annual Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy in Pigeon Forge (May 1-3, 2015) on the first-ever scholarship under the Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program from the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.  Colby takes lessons from former Winfield champion Gary “Biscuit” Davis, and we hope that the SMBA experience will help him advance as a musician.  The Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy faculty includes Kristin Scott-Benson of the Grascals, Jason Burleson of Blue Highway, and former Blue Grass Boy Butch Robins.

The Mr. Johnny Vincent Johnny Lee Vincent Memorial Scholarship Program is named in memory of Mr. Johnny Vincent of Greentop, Missouri, a bluegrass pioneer and the father of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation’s first Bluegrass Star Award recipient, Rhonda Vincent, and bluegrass star Darrin Vincent.  Johnny and his family toured the world as the Sally Mountain Show, performing their special brand of bluegrass music. He was known for his unique banjo style and founded the Sally Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Queen City, Missouri.  

The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation sincerely appreciates the support of Mr. Vincent’s family and friends, our other donors and volunteers, and all who attend our events and make it possible for us to help deserving young people like Colby Green.

Hadley’s Southern Kitchen Becomes Major Sponsor of
the Play It Forward!™ Instrument Lending Program

January 23, 2015
Hadley's Southern KitchenThe Bluegrass Heritage Foundation is proud to announce that Hadley’s Southern Kitchen of Hermitage, Tennessee has become a major sponsor of the Foundation’s Play It Forward!™ Instrument Lending Program.  The program helps foster music literacy and performance skills in deserving young people (ages 8-21) by providing free loans of the primary bluegrass musical instruments, as well as other assistance, to aspiring young musicians.  Alan Tompkins, president of the Foundation, said that “we are so thankful that the folks at Hadley’s wanted to support our instrument lending progam.  Receiving support from wonderful folks like Hadley’s is a great help to young people and an encouragement to all the volunteers who help make this program a success.”

Tater Wafers at Hadley's Southern KitchenHadley’s Southern Kitchen is the brainchild of founder Tom Hammond. Having been born and raised in the south, Tom grew up eating southern comfort foods like cornbread, white beans, pork tenderloin, and fresh-baked pecan pies. Even as an adult traveling throughout the southern United States, Tom was drawn to local restaurants specializing in these southern foods. This heritage of diverse flavors, combined with the warm and friendly atmosphere the South is known for, made such an impression on Tom that he came up with an idea for a fast casual restaurant that would feature the best of both, where food still tastes like home.

Play It Forward! Group at Hadley's Southern KitchenMany connected with the Foundation gathered at Hadley’s in February to pick, grin, and say THANK YOU to Mr. Hammond and the folks at Hadley’s for their generosity.  Pictured at right are Steve Huber of Huber Banjos (a long-time Foundation supporter), Tori, Jocelyn, and Shelby Gold of the Virginia-based bluegrass band Gold Heart (which regularly plays Foundation events), Tom Hammond, Alan Tompkins, banjoist Brandy Miller (our Play It Forward!™ Youth Showcase Artist), and Lucas White (who was featured in Fanning the Fire).

The next time you visit the Nashville area, please stop in at Hadley’s (at 4700 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage), enjoy a great meal, and let them know you appreciate their support of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.

Bloomin' Bluegrass Festival nominated for 2014 IBMA Event of the Year AwardBloomin’ Bluegrass Festival nominated for
2014 IBMA Event of the Year Award

August 16, 2014
The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation is proud to announce that the Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival & Chili Cook-Off, now in its fifth year, which is presented by the Foundation and the City of Farmers Branch, Texas, has been nominated for the 2014 Bluegrass Event of the Year Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association.  The award will be presented at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Conference Luncheon on Thursday, October 2, 2014, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Foundation president Alan Tompkins commented that “this nomination is an incredible honor for all the people, both those associated with the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation and the City of Farmers Branch, Texas, who have worked so hard for the past five years to make this event a great success.  And the event wouldn’t be what it is without all the wonderful folks who come out to enjoy the music, jam, socialize, and have a great time.  We are humbled to be nominated for this award, and express our sincere appreciation to the bluegrass community and the International Bluegrass Music Association.”

According to IBMA, the award recognizes events (festivals, concerts, and other live performance productions) for their outstanding accomplishment and service to bluegrass music in the field of event production. The recipients are judged by the IBMA’s select committee for their overall contributions to the field of event production, professionalism and quality of presentation, work furthering bluegrass in their area of service, and demonstrated ability to foster bluegrass music’s image.  Longevity of an event (number of years produced) may be a contributing factor for extending the award, but length of service alone is not an acceptable reason for recognizing an event.  All candidates will be judged and compared equally for their contributions, and nothing prevents an event from winning the award more than once or in consecutive years.

Front Porch Showdown Bluegrass Band Contest – May 31, 2014

Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas, Texas  75215

In Achordance 2014 Front Porch Showdown (2)The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation today teamed up with the Dallas Heritage Village, a shady, 20-acre tree-lined park with authentic 19th-century pioneer and Victorian homes and commercial buildings located in Dallas, for the first-ever Front Porch Showdown Bluegrass Band Contest and Show.  Nine bluegrass bands from Texas and Louisiana each had 15 minutes to take the stage, entertain the crowd, and clear out before the next band stepped in.  A total of $1,100 in prize money was on the line.  Judging was by audience ballot, with a great crowd on hand, and over 250 ballots were cast.  The winning bands were:

1st:  In Achordance (Corpus Christi, Texas)
2nd:  Bobby Giles & Music Mountain (Amarillo, Texas)
3rd:  Nickelville Road (Wylie, Texas)
4th:  Lonesome Ridge (Tullos, Louisiana)

The crowd also enjoyed performances by the Trinity River Mountain Boys, Bluestem, Sowell Family Pickers, Sabine River Bend, and Phil Ferguson & Texas True.  At the conclusion of the bluegrass band contest, the amazing Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band expertly performed a set of contemporary and classic tunes in the acoustic-music style.  Sgt Pepper’s received a standing ovation at the close of their set from a very appreciative audience! (more…)

Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Hunt Jr. renew their support
of the Play It Forward!™ Instrument Lending Program

December 1, 2013
The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation today accepted another donation for thLamar-Ritae support of the Play It Forward!™ Instrument Lending Program from Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Hunt, Jr. of Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Hunt is the eldest son of the late sports magnate Mr. Lamar Hunt, founder of the American Football League and the Kansas City Chiefs (a National Football League member team). Mr. Hunt’s family presently operates the Kansas City Chiefs as well as FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew, member franchises of Major League Soccer.  Mr. Hunt is the founder of Loretto Properties, LLC, a residential real estate firm based in Kansas City, Kansas, and Loretto Foundation, a philanthropic organization.  Mr. Hunt is a dedicated father of seven children, is the grandfather of six grandchildren, and has had a lifetime affection for music. He played the flute for nine seasons as a member of the Kansas City Symphony.

The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation’s Play It Forward!™ Instrument Lending Program helps foster music literacy and performance skills in deserving young people (ages 8-18) by providing free access to the primary bluegrass musical instruments, including mandolins, guitars, banjos, and fiddles.  Alan Tompkins, President of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, commented that “we are thankful and delighted that Mr. and Mrs. Hunt decided to continue supporting the Foundation’s free instrument lending progam.  Their support and confidence is a very real encouragement to all the volunteers who help make this program a success.”

Bluegrass Heritage Foundation presents Bluegrass Star Award®
to Mandolin Virtuoso Sierra Hull

October 19, 2013
Sierra Hull Bluegrass Star Award Presentation 2013Award-winning mandolinist, singer, and songwriter Sierra Hull was honored with the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation’s Bluegrass Star Award® on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival and Chili Cook-Off in the Farmers Branch Historical Park in Farmers Branch, Texas.

“The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation began a tradition in 2010 of honoring bluegrass artists who do an exemplary job of advancing bluegrass music while preserving its character and heritage,” said Foundation President Alan Tompkins.  The previous three Bluegrass Heritage Foundation Bluegrass Star Awards® have been awarded to Rhonda Vincent in 2010, J. D. Crowe in 2011, and Peter Rowan in 2012.  “Sierra Hull deserves this award because of her amazing talents, her respect for the character and heritage of traditional bluegrass music, and her effectiveness in bringing bluegrass to new audiences.  She is a graduate of the American Roots Music Program at the prestigious Berklee School of Music, and in her early twenties has already been nominated for five awards in three years by the members of the International Bluegrass Music Association.  She’s already given performances of broad cultural importance at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the National Prayer Breakfast.  We are excited to watch Sierra as she brings her incredible music to people who otherwise might not be open to listening to bluegrass, and we are so proud to have Sierra as a recipient of our Bluegrass Star Award®.”  For more information about Sierra Hull, visit her website at SierraHull.com.  The award presentation video is courtesy of David Seay Productions.  Photo courtesy of Mr. Derrick Birdsall.

 

Bluegrass Heritage Foundation presents Bluegrass Star Award® to Peter Rowan

October 20, 2012
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Star Award Presentation 2012GRAMMY-winning singer and songwriter Mr. Peter Rowan was honored with the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation’s Bluegrass Star Award® on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival and Chili Cook-Off in the Farmers Branch Historical Park in Farmers Branch, Texas.

“The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation began a tradition in 2010 of honoring bluegrass artists who do an exemplary job of advancing bluegrass music while preserving its character and heritage,” said Foundation President Alan Tompkins.  “Peter Rowan deserves this award because of his amazing talents and his long record of musical accomplishment.  A native of the state of Massachusetts, he began his professional career with none other than Mr. Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, living in Nashville and appearing regularly on the Grand Ol’ Opry.  His career spans nearly 50 years and includes collaborations with noted artists such as Tony Rice, David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements, Norman Blake, Clarence White, and many others.  He’s written such songs as Moonlight Midnight (which he recorded with Tony Rice), Panama Red, In The Land of The Navajo, and others.  We are excited to have Peter Rowan as a recipient of our Bluegrass Star Award®.”  For more information about Peter Rowan, visit Peter-Rowan.com.  The award presentation video is courtesy of David Seay Productions.  Photo courtesy of Mr. Derrick Birdsall.

 

The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation is a non-profit organization, run by volunteers,
promoting bluegrass music in Texas. While it's free to get in the door to many of our events,
keeping the doors open isn't free. All contributions are greatly appreciated.

Click the donate button to donate online.​

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