Nashville, Tenn…. Bluegrass ambassador and the leader of one of the most awarded bands in bluegrass, Del McCoury and pioneering bass player and guitar stylist George Shuffler will be the next inductees into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

In the department of chill-bump raising, screaming high tenor bluegrass singers, there’s no one dearer to the hearts of bluegrass fans than Del McCoury. With more than 50 years of performing under his belt, nine IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards, a Grammy in 2006 and the prestigious National Heritage Award in 2010, McCoury and his band are universally regarded among the greatest ambassadors for the genre.

McCoury first came to national attention as the lead singer and driving rhythm guitarist with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys during 1963 and 1964, after playing banjo in regional bands in the Baltimore/Washington area for several years. Forming Del McCoury & The Dixie Pals band around 1967, he played the festival circuit, largely in the Northeast. He moved from Pennsylvania to Nashville in 1992, changing the name of his group to The Del McCoury Band, which included sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo. McCoury gained national recognition for his hard-edged, high energy style of bluegrass, winning numerous honors. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2003.

Del’s infectious smile and easy-going but always professional manner are as genuine as his musical integrity, which has built bridges for bluegrass to other styles of music and musicians. His collaborations on recordings; at diverse tour dates; and on national broadcast outlets in genres as diverse as jazz, pop, country and the jam band scene are important catalysts for bringing bluegrass to new audiences.

George Shuffler’s influences in bluegrass are as an innovative bass player, guitar stylist and featured vocalist and humorist, primarily as a sideman in some of the most important bands in the music’s history.

Shuffler grew up in a large family near Valdese, North Carolina, learning his first guitar chords at age 10. Young George listened to many of the groups performing live on various 50,000-watt radio stations around the country, and Merle Travis was his idol. In the early 1940s Shuffler was working in a local string band with a regular $20-a-week job at a bakery. Filling in as bass player with Charlie & Danny Bailey and the Happy Valley Boys at a theatre and several other venues in Granite Falls, N.C., Shuffler accepted a $60 a week job with the Baileys and left with them for Nashville and The Grand Ole Opry, his first professional job.

After the Baileys quit the business, Shuffler worked with a comedy team for a while, returned to Valdese and got married and worked with several bands playing guitar and singing. Carter Stanley called Shuffler on December 28, 1950 and said he and Ralph were leaving Bristol to move to WVLK in Versailles, Kentucky, and he asked Shuffler to join the Stanley Brothers to play bass—an offer George accepted. Following WVLK, Shuffler worked with The Stanley Brothers in numerous markets. His “walking style” of bass playing, introduced on the Stanley Brothers’ 1953 Mercury Recordings, would imprint itself on a number of younger players, including Hall of Fame member Tom Gray. Primarily a bass player, Shuffler was in and out of the Stanley group many times until the early 1960s, when it got down to just Carter, Ralph and George.

Inspired by Bill Napier, Shuffler perfected his signature style of cross-picking that would be widely emulated. Following Carter Stanley’s death December 1, 1966, Shuffler stayed on with Ralph for several months. He then worked with Don Reno and Bill Harrell until 1969, recording several albums with them on bass. For a number of years he also led The Shuffler Family gospel group, which recorded more than a half dozen albums.

The Hall of Fame inductions will be one of the high points of the International Bluegrass Music Awards, which will take place September 29, 2011 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 1-888-GET-IBMA or (615) 256-3222.

The Hall of Fame is housed in the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.

2nd Annual Del Yeah Weekend

2nd Annual Del Yeah Weekend

Featuring The Del McCoury Band

Cornmeal, Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes & The David Mayfield Parade

plus Welfare Liners in Athens & Smokey’s Farmland Band in Black Mountain

Labor Day Weekend

Friday, September 2nd

Terrapin Brewery

Athens, GA


Saturday, September 3rd

Pisgah Brewing Company

Black Mountain, NC

Del Yeah is back and bigger than before!  After a very successful 2010 labor day weekend with over 2500 fans in attendance, Del McCoury music is excited to announce the 2ndannual ‘Del Yeah’ weekend – a multi-day, multi-venue ‘happening’ taking place over Labor Day weekend, 2011 in North Carolina and Georgia. The idea of Del Yeah is to create a festival atmosphere in an outdoor setting or otherwise non-traditional venue complete with impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations.

Initial plans include shows on September 2nd and 3rd featuring the award-winning Del McCoury Band and their friends Cornmeal, Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes & David Mayfield Parade presented at Terrapin Brewery in Athens, GA and Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, NC. Shows will be programmed for a full afternoon and evening’s worth of music and entertainment, culminating in closing jam sessions that will have audiences on the edge of their seats or dancing to the music all night long.

Del McCoury Band:

Led by a living bluegrass legend (whom The Washington Post alls a “national treasure”) and featuring four immensely skilled musicians (including sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo, with Jason Carter on fiddle and Alan Bartram on bass), The Del McCouryBand has rightfully received numerous accolades including more than three dozen International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, a Grammy, and multiple Grammy nominations.  This world-class ensemble performs original and traditional compositions with eloquent harmonies and “ferocious, purebred musicianship” (USA Today) that has earned them a wide range of fans, from their diverse group of “Del-Heads” to such respected musicians as Steve Earle, David Grisman and members of Phish and The String Cheese Incident.  In 2008, Del started his own music festival, and DelFest has quickly become one of the premiere music festivals on the east coast.  The band also regularly appears at some of the top festivals in the country including Newport Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo, Philadelphia Folk Fest, High Sierra, Grey Fox, and Austin City Limits Fest.


Formed over 10 years ago, Cornmeal has grown from humble beginnings into a nationally recognized live music institution.  10 years together is no simple task these days, especially when the last five have seen the band spending over half the year on the road.  Heavily influenced by American roots and folk music, Cornmeal blends lightning fast tempos and impeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand upon the five-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire.  While steeped in the tradition of John Hartford and New Grass Revival, Cornmeal continues to forge their own path, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a rapidly growing fan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of the bluegrass sound and live performance.

Drew Emmitt:

Revered as one of the most energetic and innovative mandolin players on the jamband/newgrass scene today, Emmitt’s “inestimable talents” (An Honest Tune) don’t end with just the instruments that can be picked.  Holding the wheel steady on acoustic and electric slide mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar and mandola Emmitt also showcases on recent solo albums superlative storytelling and versatile vocal abilities. Drew Emmitt is best known for his over 20 years with Leftover Salmon and also the past few years with The Emmitt-Nershi Band

Danny Barnes:

Part Southern gentleman, part humble artist, Barnes is being more than a bit self-effacing with this statement.  Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and genre-bending artists of his craft, Barnes’ musical interests are both varied and adventurous, and he incorporates that versatility into progressive approach to an instrument that is musically polarizing and steeped in tradition.  Although he demonstrates an appreciation for the history of the bluegrass, country, and folk music from which the banjo’s reputation was born, his inventive take is what truly separates him from his contemporaries…using the banjo as his ‘weapon of choice’ to play non-traditional music like rock, fusion, and jazz with electronic percussion and loop elements.

Who:         Del Yeah featuring The Del McCoury Band, Cornmeal, Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes, and The David Mayfield Parade (plus Welfare Liners in Athens and Smokey’s Farmland Band in Black Mountain)

Where and Friday, September 2nd at Terrapin Brewery – Athens, GA

Where: Saturday, September 3rd at Pisgah Brewing Company – Black Mountain, NC

Delloween: Halloween weekend shows with Keller Williams announced


The Del McCoury Band

Keller Williams

And The Travelin McCourys

Friday, October 28th – Madison Theater – Covington, KY

Saturday, October 29th – Jefferson Theatre – Roanoke, VA

Tickets on sale: June 21st

Halloween: A time for costumes, sweet treats, trickery, AND quickly becoming a holiday known for hot music collaborations.  The Del McCoury Band and Keller Williams have a long history together as well as a history of cutting edge Halloween extravaganzas, so the progression to creating a Halloween event together seems only natural.  Delloween will close out the festival season with a 2 day, 2 city indoor festival on wheels with a loopless acoustic set from Keller Williams to start the night, followed by  a set with The Del McCoury Band, and ending with a special late night set featuring both The Travelin’ McCourys and Keller Williams playing together!

The Del McCoury Band, Keller Williams, and The Travelin’ McCourys are festival veterans hitting just about every major festival in the country this summer and Del even has his own festival – DelFest, so that festival spirit will be the backbone of Delloween.  All the Delloween artists are known for pushing the boundaries of music; Williams debuted his Show For Kids this summer at several heavy hitting festivals (with music from his album KIDS) while The Del McCoury Band has been touring and playing in support of the American Legacies album with Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Travelin’ McCourys have been promoting the wildly successful Bluegrass Balls series. Delloween will follow suit with innovative sets that all but erase the boundaries of a regular theatre gig.

Del McCoury Band:

Led by a living bluegrass legend (whom The Washington Post alls a “national treasure”) and featuring four immensely skilled musicians (including sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo, with Jason Carter on fiddle and Alan Bartram on bass), The Del McCoury Band has rightfully received numerous accolades including more than three dozen International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, a Grammy, and multiple Grammy nominations.  This world-class ensemble performs original and traditional compositions with eloquent harmonies and “ferocious, purebred musicianship” (USA Today) that has earned them a wide range of fans, from their diverse group of “Del-Heads” to such respected musicians as Steve Earle, David Grisman and members of Phish and The String Cheese Incident.  In 2008, Del started his own music festival, and DelFest has quickly become one of the premiere music festivals on the east coast.  The band also regularly appears at some of the top festivals in the country including Newport Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo, Philadelphia Folk Fest, High Sierra, Grey Fox, and Austin City Limits Fest.

Keller Williams

Since he first appeared on the scene in the early ’90s, Keller Williams has defined the term independent artist. And his 16 recordings tell only half the story. Keller built his reputation initially on his engaging live performances, no two of which are ever alike. Williams’ solo live shows—and his ability to improvise to his determinedly quirky tunes despite the absence of an actual band—quickly became the stuff of legend, and his audience grew exponentially when word spread about this exciting, unpredictable performer. Today, whether performing as a one-man band (a stage show constructed around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs while accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar connected to a Gibson Echoplex delay system that allows him to simulate a full band), with a backing band (of which he has many – Keller and The Keels, Williams with Moseley, Droll and Sipe, Grunge Grass among others), or solo acoustic with simply he and his guitar, Keller always reveals himself as an artist of great stylistic breadth and infinite imagination. He is a singer, songwriter and musician, always on a quest for the new. Keller Williams has never followed the prescribed path laid out by the conventional music business but rather one of his own making. It’s a path that has served him well.

The Travelin’ McCourys

The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road—and online—entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.

No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work—a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.

What:                  Delloween

Who:                  The Del McCoury Band, Keller Williams, and The Travelin’ McCourys

Where/When:         Friday, October 28th – Madison Theater – Covington, KY

AND Saturday, October 29th – Jefferson Theatre – Roanoke, VA

On sale date: June 21st

Your chance to be in studio while The Del McCoury Band records new album

MPI is proud to present

a live tracking session with Grammy winners


Sound Emporium Studios

May 2-4, 2011 Nashville, TN

See history in the making Monday through Wednesday May 2-4, 2011 in Nashville, TN when the The Del McCoury Band opens their studio doors to the public for the very first time. They’ll be cutting brand new material for a future release, and you can observe the process thanks to MPI: Music Producers Institute. MPI offers you the real deal; a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study record production while observing your favorite artists at work.

The band will track and record for two days in Nashville in the renowned Sound Emporium “Studio A,” where the “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack album was recorded and where Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Patty Griffin and many others have recently worked.

Del and the boys will record all day May 3-4 in “Studio A.” On Monday May 2nd MPI founder and Grammy-winner Steve Fishell will lead you through a day-long record production seminar, featuring demonstrations and lectures covering pre-production, tracking, vocals, overdubs, mixing and mastering. You’ll be totally prepared to observe Del and the band when they enter the studio the next day.

This is a master recording session and what you
hear and see will be released to the public.
It’s the real deal!

Tuition for this once-in-a lifetime session is $999

Limited to only TWELVE students

Register Here

To learn more go to
Call 615-283-0201 or email us at

The Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Release Joint Album

American music fans have an unprecedented opportunity to hear two masterful groups explore the common ground where bluegrass and jazz meet when the Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band release their collaborative American Legacies project on April 12th via McCoury Music and Preservation Hall Recordings.  Inspired by the success of the Del McCoury’s participation on 2010’s PRESERVATION, a PHJB project made with multiple artists to benefit New Orleans’ unique Preservation Hall venue and its Music Outreach Program, the set offers a dozen songs filled with deep respect and joyful virtuosity.  Complementing the release, the two groups have announced a joint tour that will feature them performing on their own and together in a groundbreaking concert experience.

With common roots in the rich musical gumbo of the American south in the 19th and early 20th centuries, bluegrass and jazz have sat alongside one another with a myriad of common influences and musical vocabularies that have nevertheless remained largely unexplored until now. American Legacies is a no-holds-barred tour of songs and sounds that sum up the simultaneous (and often intersecting) histories of two distinctively American musical forms—the jazz that has drawn music lovers from around the world to New Orleans for more than a century, and the “hillbilly jazz” of bluegrass, created more than 60 years ago by Del McCoury’s one-time employer, Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys.

Known as one of the premiere ambassadors of bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band is fronted by veteran Del McCoury,  A hero to east coast bluegrass audiences through the 1970s and 1980s, he stepped onto the national stage with a move to Nashville in the early 1990s that started the Del McCoury Band on an unprecedented streak of International Bluegrass Music Association awards and international acclaim.  Today, McCoury, along with a band that includes his sons Ron and Rob, are admired by hard-core bluegrass traditionalists and eclectic music fans and stars alike as they make appearances everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival to late night network TV shows to their own popular Delfest.  For millions of fans across the US and around the world, the Del McCoury Band is simply the face of bluegrass.

Founded just a few years before McCoury joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been carrying the distinctive sound of New Orleans jazz around the world on behalf of Preservation Hall, a unique venue that embodies the city’s musical legacy.  With a cast of musicians schooled through first-hand experience and apprenticeship into the music’s historic traditions, the PHJB has served as an irreplaceable, vital link to the earliest days of one of America’s most beloved forms of popular music, evoking the spirits of times past in an ever-evolving modern context that has found them traveling around the world.

Del McCoury Contributes to Six Grammy Nominated Recordings

Traditional music master Del McCoury has earned Grammy nominations—and awards—before, but as he, his McCoury Music label and the Del McCoury Band savor the nomination of their Family Circle release for Best Bluegrass Album, a deeper look at this year’s candidates says something more about the man and his music.  For while he’s a certified living legend who took home the nation’s top traditional arts honor this year, Del McCoury is also a vital presence in today’s cutting edge bluegrass as well, appearing on another five nominated recordings, including all but one of the Best Bluegrass Album nominees.

McCoury guested with long-time friends Sam Bush (Circles Around Me) and Peter Rowan (Legacy) and joined Patty Loveless, who inducted him into Grand Ole Opry membership, on her Mountain Soul II, all nominated alongside Family Circle.  But he reached further, too, with an appearance on two country nominees as well: his duet with Dierks Bentley on U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love),” recorded with Punch Brothers, scored a nod for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, while Bentley’s album, Up On The Ridge, is up for Best Country Album.

Not surprisingly, the McCoury Band’s presence on other acclaimed projects goes beyond Del; Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury and Jason Carter all played and/or sang on Loveless’s project, and  provided backing for a substantial part of long-time buddy Dierks Bentley’s album. In fact, when Bentley toured in the spring of this year to preview the album, he called on The Travelin’ McCourys—Ronnie, Rob, Jason and Del McCoury Band bassist Alan Bartram—for backing on club and listening room dates along with multiple national TV appearances.

For McCoury, being ready to help out—and keeping an open mind—just comes naturally, even as his talents are ever more widely recognized.  “His voice has become more than bluegrass—he’s just a great singer,” Ronnie McCoury proudly says, and as this year’s Grammy nominations make clear, it’s not just with his own music.

DEL YEAH weekend announced in North Carolina


July 22, 2010&(Nashville, TN)&Breaking new ground in media and event promotion, roots music radio station WNCW and Del McCoury’s McCoury Music unveiled plans for the very first ‘Del Yeah’ Weekend a multi-day, multi-venue ‘happening’ taking place over Labor Day weekend, 2010 in North Carolina.

Initial plans include shows on September 4th and 5th featuring the award-winning Del McCoury Band and their friends in the Emmitt-Nershi Band, along with a full complement of yet-to-be-named artists (including regional favorites), presented at the Pisgah Brewing Company (Black Mountain) and the U.S. National Whitewater Center (Charlotte) respectively. Shows will be programmed for a full afternoon and evening’s worth of music and entertainment, culminating in closing jam sessions that will have audiences on the edge of their seats or dancing to the music all night long.

‘We’re really excited about the Del Yeah’ idea,’ said the Del McCoury Band’s manager, Stan Strickland. ‘And we’re especially excited to be working with WNCW, because it’s impossible to think of a radio station more attuned to the kind of bluegrass Del plays or to the wide range of music that’s being played by his friends. For Del Yeah,’ we want to create a festival atmosphere in an outdoor setting or otherwise non-traditional venue, and we think that the Pisgah Brewery and the U.S. National Whitewater Center are perfect locations to kick off the concept. The Pisgah has a large outdoor performance area that’ll hold up to 2,500 people, and the Whitewater Center is a great family destination that will allow us to mix music with their many sporting and outdoor activities, creating an event like no other.’

A half-century veteran of traditional bluegrass who was recently honored with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Del McCoury has also welcomed the flowering of a variety of new string music styles. His own DelFest, which recently concluded its third successful year, has served up everything from his own hard-core bluegrass to jam bands, sacred steel, old and new style string band music and more, paving the way for the still more innovative ‘Del Yeah’ Weekend.

Joining The Del McCoury Band will be The Emmitt-Nershi Band, which exemplifies one of the most exciting strains of modern bluegrass and related music. Led by Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi, linchpins of the legendary jam bands Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident respectively, both men have filled stadiums with high profile, grass-flavored rock’n’roll. Together, they’ve blazed new trails with a high-powered, rock- and jazz-flavored brand of bluegrass that has earned them critical acclaim and legions of young fans around the country.

WNCW has regularly earned awards for its outstanding programming and involvement in North Carolina’s multi-faceted roots music community. Broadcasting from Isothermal College in Spindale, NC for almost a quarter of a century, the station’s signal has brought the best in bluegrass, blues, gospel, Americana and more to devoted listeners in Asheville, Boone, Charlotte, Greenville and other area markets.

Tickets for both events will be $20 advance, and $25 day of show. For more information, please go to

National Heritage Fellowship Award

For Immediate Release June 25, 2010


(Nashville, TN)&Yesterday, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman, Rocco Landesman, announced this year’s NEA National Heritage Fellowships, and we are proud to announce that Del McCoury is one of nine recipients this year.

This award is the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts and each of the nine recipients will receive a one-time award of $25,000. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships public programs are made possible through the support of the Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation and Darden’s family of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52 restaurants.

Representing eight states, the nine recipients were chosen for their artistic excellence and their efforts to conserve America’s cultures for future generations. They come from a cross-section of ethnic cultures including Ghanaian, Irish, and Indian, and practice such diverse traditional art forms as Afro-Cuban drum building and Texas-style fiddling, as well as two art forms never before honored through the National Heritage Fellowships: lauhala (palm leaf) weaving and Bharatanatyam Indian dancing.

The award to Mr. McCoury reflects more than 50 years of work performing a truly American music. One of the greatest ambassadors for traditional bluegrass, he has been no less acclaimed for embracing offshoots of the 65 year old genre, embodying both aspects of his career through his annual Delfest music festival, where tradition is both honored and extended by the presentation of a wide array of bluegrass and string musics. Over the past two decades, he and his Del McCoury Band have become the most awarded act in the history of bluegrass, allowing him the opportunity to broaden its audience through appearances on late night television shows like David Letterman’s and Conan O’Brien’s, and at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to popular festivals like Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival.

When told of the honor, McCoury responded, ‘I’m truly overwhelmed. All I’ve ever done is play the music I love, and I feel very fortunate just to have made a career of it. To receive an honor like this for doing something you love seems almost unreal, but I am very thankful.’

The other 2010 recipients are Ghanaian drum master Yacub Addy, fiddler Jim ‘Texas Shorty’ Chancellor, Lauhala weaver Gladys Kukana Grace, sweetgrass basketweaver Mary Jackson, Bharatanatyam Indian dancer Kamala Lakshmi Narayanan, Irish flute player Mike Rafferty and Afro-Cuban drummer and drum builder Ezequiel Torres.

In addition, the Bess Lomax Hawes Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage, was given to Illinois folklorist and editor Judith McCulloh. McCulloh has overseen the publication of a number of books that feature consideration of Del’s work, including Neil V. Rosenberg’s and Charles Wolfe’s monumental The Music Of Bill Monroe.

The 2010 awardees will come to Washington, D.C. in September for a series of events including an awards presentation and banquet at the Library of Congress, as well as a concert scheduled for Friday, September 24, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland.

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

For more information on the NEA, please visit For more information on the Del McCoury Band, visit

Del receives Governor's Arts Award for the State of Pennsylvania


Nashville, TN&First Lady of Pennsylvania Judge Marjorie Rendell recently announced this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards Honorees, and Del McCoury has been named Artist of the Year. The Award will be presented April 8 in Del’s hometown of York, PA.

The annual awards are a 29-year gubernatorial tradition honoring outstanding Pennsylvania artists, arts organizations and patrons who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the arts.

Del McCoury began his illustrious career just 50 miles from York in the bars of the Baltimore waterfront. Now, more than 50 years later, the one-time farm boy has taken Bluegrass music across the country and around the world, earning widespread acclaim as its foremost ambassador by balancing a profound immersion in its traditions with a wide-open appeal to listeners young enough to be his grandchildren. A staple of the mid-Atlantic bluegrass scene for decades, he built a reputation and influenced up-and-comers like Alison Krauss while raising his family in the same area where he grew up. Starting in the early 90s, Del blasted onto the national scene, earning dozens of awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association and NARAS, appearing at venues as varied as Carnegie Hall and the Bonnaroo Music Festival with his own band and with artists ranging from Phish to Dierks Bentley, and accepting induction into the world-acclaimed Grand Ole Opry cast in 2003.

Yet whether he’s entertaining a youthful audience numbering in the hundreds of thousands, appearing at a hard-core traditional bluegrass festival or presiding over his own freewheeling DelFest, McCoury has become universally acclaimed as a bluegrass patriarch whose commitment to musical excellence is surpassed only by his geniality and easy rapport with listeners. And though his career has led him to reside near Nashville, TN, Del remains proud to call York County home, and still maintains his Civil War era farmhouse a few miles out of town, where he sneaks away when his schedule allows.

Here’s a full list of the awards Governor Rendell will present at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in York:

· Distinguished Arts Award – Jeff Koons, internationally acclaimed visual artist and York native; · Artist of the Year -Del McCoury, legendary bluegrass artist of Nashville, TN, and raised on a dairy farm in York County; · Patron Award (1st of 2) – Louis J. Appell of York; · Patron Award (2nd of 2) – Arthur J. Glatfelter of York; · Outstanding Arts Leadership & Service to Youth Award – Caroline S. Nunan of Lancaster; and · Pennsylvania Creative Community Award – Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, the world’s largest event of its kind, drawing more than 200 carvers and 25,000 people to the Pennsylvania Wilds, Elk County.

‘The achievements of these honorees exemplify the transformative power of the arts in Pennsylvania,’ said First Lady Rendell, who was joined by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Chairman Diane Dalto and Executive Director Philip Horn. ‘Each recipient has been a ‘game changer’ in their community or in their own art form, making lasting contributions to the growth and development of arts and culture.’

The honorees were selected from a field of more than 70 nominations submitted by arts organizations, artists, arts patrons, elected officials and the public. Previous honorees include actor Michael Keaton, author M. Night Shyamalan, Gospel Music pioneers The Dixie Hummingbirds, jazz pianist Bob Dorough, and comedian and actor Bill Cosby.

The awards ceremony in April will be free, open to the public and followed by a ticketed reception.

Media contact: Chris Harris 615-224-8083 phone

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