You’re Invited: World of Bluegrass Promotional Opportunities

We are very excited to announce that Greater Raleigh will be hosting the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for “World of Bluegrass” September 24-28, 2013 and want to invite you to take advantage of available promotional opportunities. First, we encourage you to review the four event components outlined below so you know what to anticipate throughout the week:

· The IBMA Business Conference will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center from Tuesday, September 24 through Thursday, September 26. 

·The Bluegrass Ramble Evening Showcases will be held at six different concurrent downtown venues and the Raleigh Convention Center from Tuesday, September 24 through Wednesday September 25 (6pm to 2 am) and Thursday, September 26 through Saturday, September 28 (10pm to 2am).

·The International Bluegrass Music Awards hosted by The Steep Canyon Rangers, will be held at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, September 26 at 7:30 pm.

·The Wide Open Bluegrass Festival presented by PNC will be held on City Plaza, Fayetteville Street, and side streets from 10 am-11 pm on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.  The Wide Open Festival will feature free live music at five performance tents, an arts market, children’s activity area, the final competition of the N.C. Pork Council’s N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship, an expo in the Raleigh Convention Center exhibit hall and ticketed performances at the Red Hat Amphitheater and the Raleigh Convention Center. 

Opportunities for Involvement: 

IBMA offers a great opportunity to showcase your restaurant, nightlife or retail business to Raleigh and NC residents, visitors from across the country as well as international visitors who will be attending.  It will be a busy week all over, and the weekend celebration alone is expected to attract in excess of 50,000 attendees. 

We hope you are as excited about this event as we are and would like to offer the following opportunities for involvement: 

1. Event Merchandise Vendor (limited space remaining on a first-come, first-served basis): 

  1. Criteria:  Vendor must offer bluegrass-inspired merchandise or interactive activities ***The organizing LOC committee member has the sole discretion to approve or deny event merchandise vendor requests. 
  2. Cost:  $200 for a 10×10 (tables, chairs, and access to 110 power can be provided upon request)
  3. Tents and Extension Cords:  Vendors must provide their own tent and extension cords
  4. Hours:  Vendors need to be at the event from 12 noon-10/11 pm on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.  Set up is Friday, September 27 from 7am to 11 am. 
  5. Deadline:  Vendors can confirm their participation on a first-come, first serve basis through September 13 by e-mailing Ted Loomis at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts/Red Hat Amphitheater.

2. “Special Deals” Website and Mobile Site Promotion: 

  1. Special Deals:  Businesses are encouraged to offer a bluegrass-inspired “special deal” or activity to attract IBMA attendees to their businesses that will be promoted on the IBMA website and mobile site
  2. Deadline:  Businesses interested in offering bluegrass-inspired special deals or activities can e-mail Julie Brakenbury at Greater Raleigh CVB by Monday, September 9, for inclusion on the IBMA website and mobile site

3. Zspot Greater Raleigh SMART card:

  1. Existing participating businesses will benefit from added promotion via a link on the mobile site.  For more information on how this works please email Julie Brakenbury at GRCVB.

4.Speaking Engagement or Arts Activation Host Location:

  1. Speakers and Arts Activation:  Additional cross-promotional opportunities are available to venues interested in hosting speaking engagements. See below for a list of musicians that have agreed to provide one or two presentations, without fees.  Anyone who can offer an honorarium should do so. Contact them directly for available dates and understand they will do these speaking engagements, first-come first-served, as their schedules permit.  Scheduling presentations the days preceding or following the conference is a great way to encourage visitors to extend their stay.  If you have any other ideas on how to activate your space with bluegrass-inspired activities (i.e. live bluegrass music, music lessons, art exhibit with bluegrass themed artwork, etc.) please share your ideas with Eleanor Oakley, United Arts, for consideration.
  2. Confirmation:Please email Eleanor Oakley if you schedule a speaking engagement with one of the speakers provided so that the Local Organizing Committee can help promote your event. 

Select venues will also receive promotional materials for distribution the weeks leading up to the event.  It’s our goal to make conference attendees and bluegrass lovers feel welcome in our community. 

We hope you will take advantage of some of the promotional opportunities available and look forward to a Pickin’’ good time. 

In local love,

Jennifer & Breanne


IBMA World of Bluegrass Speakers Bureau

The following musicians have agreed to provide one or two presentations, without fees; anyone who can offer an honorarium should do so. Contact them directly for available dates and understand they will do these speaking engagements, first-come first-served, as their schedules permit.  Please email when you have scheduled a speaking engagement with one of the following, so that the Local Organizing Committee can keep a record:

NAME                                         TOPIC                                 Contact

1. Gene Brown                “Bluegrass and Its Roots”     Phone: 919-834-5113;

Gene Brown is a member of the Local Organizing Committee for the IBMA “World of Bluegrass” event in September 2013. He is a frequent performer at the PineCone Bluegrass Jam in Raleigh, serves on the board of the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild, and regularly volunteers at Merlefest. Eugene W. Brown, AIA, has been a registered architect in Raleigh, North Carolina, since 1969 and in private practice since 1981, specializing mostly in custom residential design and remodeling.

2.  Bob Carlin      “North Carolina is the Banjo State”  Phone: 336-210-8163;

Lexington, NC-based Bob Carlin is a musician and scholar specializing in old-time and roots music of the southeastern US, with emphasis on the traditional styles of the Piedmont region. As a performer, Carlin has enjoyed a long and varied career as a member of the Millstone Valley Boys, the Delaware Water Gap, Dance All Night, the Joe Thompson Band, and the John Hartford String Band. While adept on many instruments, Carlin is most widely known for his skills as a clawhammer banjo player. The clawhammer method is a highly rhythmic, down-picking style of playing in which the strings are sounded by the back of the fingernail, popular throughout the Piedmont prior to the introduction of the three-finger technique pioneered by area natives such as Don Reno and Earl Scruggs.  As a scholar of traditional music, Carlin has curated releases such as the Library of Congress Banjo Collection (Rounder Records; 1988) and the comprehensive North Carolina Banjo Collection (Rounder Records; 1998), and has written the books The Birth of the Banjo and String Bands in the North Carolina Piedmont. Carlin also conducts banjo workshops and teaches lessons to budding players. For many years he has researched traditional musicians in North Carolina’s history, and has published his work in the Old-Time Herald and in Bluegrass Unlimited.

3. Lynda Dawson                        “Women in Bluegrass”                        

Lynda Wittig Dawson is the lead singer, songwriter and guitar player with Raleigh-based bluegrass and Americana outfit, the Kickin Grass Band. Her true-to-life songwriting, distinct vocals and tasteful guitar have been a hallmark of the band’s Americana and rootsy sound from their start in 2002. Dawson has been described by PopMatters as writing “distinctive originals…with an ear for a catchy melody as well as interesting turns of phrase,” and by Nashville Public Radio as a “truly gifted songwriter who writes intelligently crafted lyrics married to unforgettable melodies.” She also performs original and traditional music at schools and kid-centric venues with her family music duo, Little Root, and teaches songwriting at the PineCone Bluegrass Camps for Youth.

4.Tommy Edwards                     “Bluegrass in North Carolina”                 

Chatham County musician Tommy Edwards co-founded the Bluegrass Experience in 1971, and the next year, the group won the World’s Championship Bluegrass Band title at the Union Grove fiddlers’ convention. For nine years, the band played a regular Thursday-night gig at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. For two consecutive years, Tommy was named “World Champion Guitar Picker” at the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention. In addition to his role as guitarist with The Bluegrass Experience, Tommy plays banjo with The Leroy Savage Group, guitar with Carolina Lightnin’ and appears frequently as a soloist, performing many of his original songs. He is also a bluegrass radio deejay for the “Bluegrass Saturday Night” program on WLHC Life 103.1 from 7-9 p.m. His latest CD is North Carolina History, Mystery, Lore & More.

5.      Jan Johansson                    “All Things Bluegrass”          Phone: 919-771-8780;

Jan Johansson was born in Sweden and has been playing acoustic music since the age of 14. By the time he was 18, Jan was learning the guitar, fiddle, and mandolin. Jan came to the United States in 1986 to play traditional and bluegrass music. In 1989, he and Theresa Blue, a native of Carthage, NC, were married, later adopting four Russian children. In North Carolina, Jan began working as a freelance translator and music instructor. He founded Johansson’s Acoustic Music Studio (JAMS) to provide music instruction for people of all age groups interested in bluegrass and other forms of acoustic music. Focused on one-on-one personal instruction, JAMS has taught hundreds of acoustic musicians in and around NC in guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and bass. In the summer of 2013, he will teach guitar as part of the PineCone Bluegrass Music Camps. NOTE:  Jan is on international tour mid-July to mid-August.

6.       Lorraine Jordan         “What It Is Like to Be a Road Musician”/”How To Be A Bluegrass Promoter”                                                                                                    

Lorraine is the pioneer of the Daughters of Blue Grass (all-star line ups of female pickers and singers) and has won three International Blue Grass Music awards for Recorded Project of the Year.  The Blue Grass world has named Lorraine Jordan as “the Lady of Tradition.” As the founding member and band leader for Carolina Road, Lorraine Jordan’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience makes the group one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today. Lorraine has fronted Carolina Road for over a decade and has seven national recordings to her credit. Carolina Road recently released Back to My Roots, their highly anticipated second album with world renowned Rural Rhythm Records. This album stayed on the National top Blue Grass charts for 15 months in 2011-2012. NOTE:  Check schedule on her website under “tour” and call Cindy at Jordan Driving School at 919-779-5672.

7.        Wayne Martin   “History of Old-Time/Bluegrass Music in NC and Its Current Value”

Wayne Martin was named Executive Director of the NC Arts Council in May 2012.  Previously their Senior Program Director for Community Arts Development, he played a critical role in creating the Blue Ridge Music and Cherokee Heritage trails projects as part of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. This interstate collaboration set the stage for the Congressional designation of western NC as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area. In 2004 Martin received the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. Since then, he has helped plan and implement the African American Music Trails in eastern NC;  a revision of the Blue Ridge Music Trails in 28 western counties; and a trails project in  the Upper Yadkin Valley watershed in Caldwell and Wilkes counties.  He joined the agency in 1981 as the Arts in Education Director, directing the Visiting Artist Program, and was an original staff member of the Office of Folklife Programs. In 1988 Martin helped establish the North Carolina Heritage Award Program, which has honored more than one hundred NC traditional artists.  In addition, he has produced recordings of some of North Carolina’s outstanding folk artists. NOTE:  makes presentations to government agencies and civic groups.

8.       Art Menius       “Bluegrass Music: How North Carolinians Have Contributed”

Art Menius is Executive Director of The ArtsCenter ( in Carrboro, NC, which serves 80,000 people in central North Carolina each year with classes, concerts (bluegrass included), plays, gallery presentations, school programs, and more. Art has written about bluegrass and folk music since 1983. He was the first Executive Director of IBMA and initial manager of Folk Alliance International. Menius worked full-time for MerleFest as sponsorship and marketing director from 1997 to 2007. He served as Director of Appalshop in Whitesburg, KY, from 2007 to 2010.  NOTE:  can make presentations in Wake, Durham, Orange, Alamance and Chatham counties.

9.      Larry Nixon               “Bluegrass in NC”                                                 

Larry Nixon is from Elkin, NC, in the heart of mountain and traditional music country, thirty miles south of Galax, Virginia, 40 miles northeast of Deep Gap, home of Doc Watson, and 25 miles north of Union Grove, home of one of the oldest music and fiddler’s convention in the country.. When Larry was 12, his grandfather gave him the banjo he had played around Surry County, NC, until 1929 when a finger injury ended his playing career. Since that time, Larry has been hooked on music.  During college, he played in “beach” music bands. Larry has enjoyed playing all types of music but has returned to his “roots” and first love, the re-creation and preservation of finger-picking styles of guitar that he first heard in the 1960s. Larry attended NCSU, is a consulting engineer in Raleigh, an original board member of PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, and is one of the hosts of the PineCone Bluegrass Show, which is broadcast from Raleigh on WQDR 94.7-FM at 6:00PM on Sunday nights. He is also a member of the popular local band, Nixon, Blevins & Gage.

10.   Charles Pettee         “Catch the Bluegrass Bug: the NC Bluegrass Story”

Charles Pettee’s fresh approach to the traditional arts of flatpicking and folk singing began during his childhood in Asheville, NC, where he started early on guitar and mandolin. He is co-founder of The Shady Grove Band from Chapel Hill, NC, which has delighted audiences across the US, Canada and Europe for over 30 years. His distinctive mandolin style, voice, and original compositions are an essential part of the group’s appeal and garner airplay in over 20 foreign countries. Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm, founded in 2004, has a reputation for musical integrity, professionalism, and ability to inspire: 3,000-year-old sacred poems of the Hebrews – the Psalms– sound startlingly contemporary in their deeply human expressions of ecstasy, dread, defiance. Charles has hosted workshops on both guitar and mandolin technique at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the US and Europe and is the mandolin instructor for PineCone’s Bluegrass Music Camps. Charles has also been the driving force behind Chuck and the Waggin’Ears for over 20 years. Altogether, he has performed over 5000 shows as a professional musician and for over two decades has been sharing the story of bluegrass music in his school performances and residencies entitled ‘Hear the Sound” throughout the Southeast.

11.    Ron Raxter      “The Story of Bluegrass and NC’s (and Raleigh’s) Contribution”

Ron Raxter is one of PineCone’s co-founders and served as its first President. His family has been in the North Carolina mountains since before the 1790 census, and his mother was a clogger.  He was also a founding member of the Apple Chill Cloggers, and learned some of his dance steps from Willard Watson, a 1994 Heritage Award winner and cousin to the legendary Doc Watson. Raxter plays bass with the Southern String Band and Bloomsbury, and is a popular square dance caller.  He is a partner at the law firm Williams Mullen, and has practiced regulatory, corporate and securities law for over 30 years.

12.   John Santa               “Bluegrass Is My Second Language”              

Chapel Hill-based John Santa is a singer/songwriter/author/musician whose literary and musical writing is known for being both personal and powerful. He is a member of EIGHTwentythree and produced the band’s first CD, The Blessing Of The Strings. Our State Magazine said the CD, “…breaks new ground in the bluegrass world… Not only will it appeal to long-time bluegrass fans, but the album’s unique content and layout will also perk the ears of new listeners and set everyone’s toes to tapping.” He is the author of Bluegrass Is My Second Language: A Year In The Life Of An Accidental Bluegrass Musician and is a featured presenter for the 2013 Carolina Mountain Literary Festival where he will also lead songwriting workshops.   He is the founder of The Marathon Jam, whose mission is to gather people and players from all walks of life and across the globe together for a day of public service. Additionally, he is a North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar, was named a 2012 WCHL Radio Hometown Hero and was featured in the 2012 WRAL TV “Good Things” series.