Dale Ann Bradley is one of the most powerful and emotive singers in bluegrass music as evidenced by two Grammy nominations, an induction into the Kentucky Hall of Fame, and five IBMA Awards for Best Female Vocalist. She initially came to prominence on Kentucky’s famous Renfro Valley, performing on all shows and recording on The Sunday Morning Gatherin’, which still remains the second oldest radio show in America next to The Grand Ole Opry. She joined “The New Coon Creek Girls” while at the Valley and performed with them until Pinecastle offered her a solo deal. As a solo artist, she charted on Billboard, landed features in dozens of major industry publications, performed on The Grand Ole Opry several times, and earned her first Grammy nomination. In 2018, Dale Ann was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, joining Bill Monroe, Keith Whitley, Sonny Osborne, and Sam Bush in Kentucky Music Royalty. In 2019, Dale Ann and all-female group Sister Sadie were nominated for “Best Bluegrass Album” for the critically acclaimed Sister Sadie II. 2019 also brought the group’s debut on the legendary Grand Ole Opry, and the IBMA award for “Vocal Group of the Year”, the first time ever that an all-female group has won in this category.
Kristin Scott Benson is the five-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year and recipient of the 2018 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Since 2008, she has been a member of Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals. Kristin is one of the nation’s top bluegrass banjo players, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers. As part of the Grascals, Kristin has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk, among others. The band has also performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as nearly 200 times on The Grand Ole Opry. Kristin’s latest solo album, entitled Stringworks, on Mountain Home Records, was released in July of 2016. It debuted in the Top Ten on Billboard’s Bluegrass album chart and the self-penned opening track, Great Waterton, was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year.
Born of fiddle-playing parents in Spokane, WA, Kimber Ludiker is a fifth-generation fiddle player who started learning on the lap of her grandfather at age three. With eleven combined family National Fiddle Championships, Kimber holds three herself. In 2009, Kimber founded the all-female bluegrass/Americana string band, Della Mae. They were IBMA’s Emerging Artists of the Year in 2013, GRAMMY Nominees in 2014 for their debut album on Rounder Records, named by Rolling Stone as one of ten bands to watch for in 2015, and have traveled with the U.S. Department of State to fifteen countries spreading peace and understanding through music. Kimber is a talented and in-demand teacher who has taught for many years, including at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV.
Stephen Mougin is one of the most respected Jack-of-All-Trades in bluegrass and acoustic music: a compassionate teacher, compelling touring guitarist, natural songwriter, sought-after band coach, and gifted producer and engineer. Mougin is most naturally a vocal teacher, having earned a degree in music education with a vocal focus from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. “[Bluegrass voice teaching is] about knowing which rules you can break or bend to make it sound authentic,” he says. Mougin’s proven method starts with the fundamentals, and then he works with students on developing their own style. “Of all the things I am, the thing I do best is teach. The results are tangible, and it’s where I have the most confidence,” Mougin says. In 2005, he launched Dark Shadow Recording, a record label with a world-class studio that Mougin heads up. In addition to multiple IBMA awards, Dark Shadow Recording has released instructional CDs on baritone and tenor harmony vocals with help from Russell Moore and Ronnie Bowman. In 2006, Stephen joined the Sam Bush Band as the guitar player, and he has also worked as a vocal coach in the studio with the band. Stephen also teaches bluegrass guitar on TrueFire.com which Guitar Player Magazine calls “the planet’s largest and most comprehensive selection of online guitar lessons.” Over one million guitar players, from virtually every country in the world, “learn, practice, and play” with TrueFire’s interactive video courses and patented learning systems for personalized and private online instruction.
With a signature raw mandolin groove, bold fashion sense, charismatic yet soft-spoken confidence, and keen sensitivity to style and artistic innovation, twenty-six-year-old Grammy-nominated mandolinist Tristan Scroggins is quickly becoming a highly influential voice of both music and community in the world of bluegrass. An old soul with the drive and curiosity of youth, Tristan is dedicated to learning the history of bluegrass while creating an open and inclusive space for the music moving forward. In 2017, Tristan was honored with the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year. Tristan spent a decade touring full-time with his father’s band, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. The band found international success, touring 300 days a year at its’ peak and appearing at festivals such as Merlefest and Wintergrass, and in 2018, they were nominated for IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year. Tristan now lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he has become a part of the thriving bluegrass and acoustic scene and can be found performing, teaching, researching, and writing about music.
Chris Luquette’s musicianship reflects the multitude of musical influences he turns to for inspiration. You’d be hard pressed to find another musician seamlessly switching from International Music to Jazz and from Rock to Bluegrass so comfortably. His acoustic guitar playing really stands out, but this virtuosic, multi-instrumentalist is equally at home playing mandolin, drums, bass, electric guitar, banjo, and Greek bouzouki. Chris plays with Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, including on the world-famous Grand Ole Opry! In addition, Chris was a founding member of Seattle-based band Northern Departure, and has found himself performing onstage with the likes of Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, Bryan Sutton, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Kenny and Amanda Smith, The Boxcars, and many others. Chris was a big hit when he last taught at Ashokan’s First-Ever Flatpicking Weekend in the Fall of 2019.
IBMA award-winning bluegrass musician Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States and Europe, on the Grand Ole Opry, and beyond. He has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, but is perhaps best known for his version of Cherokee Shuffle with Noam Pikelny and Andy Falco, which has been viewed over 200,000 times on YouTube. Tony has toured with Rounder Recording artist Alecia Nugent, with Leigh Gibson, guitarist for The Gibson Brothers, with Jenni Lyn Gardner, former mandolinist for Della Mae, and currently performs with Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. He is the Vice President and Education Co-Director of the Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU) which puts on the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. Tony has taught bluegrass for over 20 years and is a visiting artist at the Berklee College of Music’s prestigious American Roots Music Program. Tony is also the director of The Bluegrass University, which presents JamVember, a weekend-long bluegrass jamming “non-festival” held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Sheraton in Framingham, MA.