Jason’s contributions to our bluegrass community are, as we all know, both broad and deep. In addition to the banjo, guitar, and mandolin lessons he provides to many individuals, Jason has been holding weekly teaching jams in Boise since 2012 for both beginner and intermediate groups. When the weekly jams were interrupted in March 2020 for safety reasons, Jason began creating and sending teaching/play-along videos to all students and jammers. These weekly videos have been invaluable in keeping us practicing, learning, and connected until we can meet again face to face. And so the community continues...
This award also is in recognition of Jason’s many years of bluegrass performances in bands including The Clumsy Lovers, Reilly Coyote, Friday Night Jam, Dry Buck, Highland Hillstomp, Possum Livin’, Tokosha, and Jason Homey and the Snake River Boys. We look forward to whatever post-covid musical adventures Jason has up his sleeve.
Also, we must not neglect mention and thanks for Jason’s great performances at Liquid Open-Mic Nights of songs taught at beginner jams—to demonstrate how we all might one day, with practice and persistence, become our best pickin’ selves! Thanks, Jason!
Words from our incoming president, Mike Murray, sum it up nicely: "When I first heard that the IBA was going to have this award, I immediately thought of Jason. I can’t think of anyone more deserving for the first annual award. His contribution to bluegrass music in Idaho, and the lives he has impacted through his teaching and example is tremendous. Congratulations Jason!"
Jason's award is accompanied by a $500 check and an award plaque.
Criteria and nomination process for the Top Pickin' award are explained below in "Other News."
The Year In Review
Many of us are anxious to put this year behind us and move on to a better and brighter 2021. Me included. But, before we do, I’d like to take a moment to be thankful during this holiday season for what we have. It is true that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Oh, how we all miss and greatly appreciate the weekly jams, monthly acoustic showcases, open mics, and all the events where we connect with friends to share the music we love.
Though many of our scheduled events had to be cancelled in 2020, we are most grateful for the success of the 1st annual Idaho Winterfest in January 2020. Held at the Ironwood Bar and Grill, the Winterfest rustled up 13 bands, 7 hours of bluegrass music, and 600 participants, supporters, and listeners. It's hard to believe that was only 11 months ago.
We are most grateful for the efforts of all who helped keep us connected during these physically distant times. Thank you to those who participated in our Virtualgrass online festival in the spring. https://www.idahobluegrassassociation.org/virtualgrass.html
Again, a huge shout-out and thank you to Jason Homey for his weekly “Jam with Jason” posts on YouTube.
The Year Ahead
We see a brighter and more music filled 2021! Though we are moving cautiously, we are moving! We are planning an outdoor Memorial Day Bluegrass Festival for 2021 (May 31) to be held in the Treasure Valley. Venue and details TBD. Please follow the website for more details.
We have scheduled the Weiser Bluegrass and Banjo Camp for May 20-23, 2021, at the site of the National Oldtime Fiddle Festival in Weiser. We have engaged 8 nationally known instrutors and we can enroll a maximum of 120 students. https://weiserbanjo.weebly.com/