The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced the nominees for the Momentum Awards. Each artist was chosen by committees through a multi-stage process involving both musicians and music industry leaders.

Nominees include Ricky Skaggs, Mo Pitney, Jim Lauderdale and the Lil' Smokies. Instituted in 2012, the Momentum Awards were created to recognize both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who have contributed to the advancement bluegrass music.

"One of the distinctive features of the bluegrass world is that the peak years of careers are often measured in decades, even as we welcome an abundance of new artists and industry professionals into the ranks,” Jon Weisberger, IBMA board chair, explains. “So as our top artists and professionals continue to enjoy recognition from their peers through its annual awards, the IBMA's Board of Directors saw a need to salute some of the best and brightest among those who are closer to the beginnings of their careers, and created the Momentum Awards -- noteworthy for including not just singers, pickers and bands, but events or venues and professionals -- as a vehicle for drawing attention to their achievements.

“Momentum Award nominees and recipients are chosen by small committees of whose members' experiences and vantage points within the industry give them the broad awareness and perspective needed to make good choices,” he continues. “Though the awards are just a couple of years old, they're already helping to create new fans and new opportunities."

Momentum Awards recipients will be honored at a special luncheon on Oct. 1 in Raleigh, N.C., as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, held Sept. 30 through Oct. 4.

See a list of the Momentum Awards nominees below. The IBMA Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 PM ET, at the Memorial Auditorium of North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available for purchase here.

Momentum Award Nominees:

Performance Award Nominees, Instrumentalists (final committee will select three):

Mike Barnett (fiddle)
Casey Campbell (mandolin)
Dominick Leslie (mandolin)
Janice Martin (banjo)
Cory Piatt (mandolin)
Andrew Rigney (guitar)
Zeb Snyder (guitar)
Jake Stargel (guitar)
Cory Walker (banjo)

Performance Award Nominees, Vocalist (final committee to select one):

Savannah Church (The Church Sisters)
Jesse Gregory (Jesse Gregory & Faultline)
Sarah Harris (Trinity River Band)
Mo Pitney
Molly Tuttle (Molly Tuttle Trio)

Performance Award Nominees, Band (final committee to select one):

Barefoot Movement
The Lil’ Smokies
The Snyder Family
Vickie Vaughn Band

Industry Involvement Award Nominees, Media/Artisan/Business/General:

Jamie Deering – Deering Banjos
Cory Hemilright – Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival
Megan McNair – Sugar Hill Records
Ashlee Jean Trott – Music City Roots/Bluegrass Underground
Aaron Youngberg – Swing Fingers Studio

Industry Involvement Award Nominees, Festival/Event/Venue:

Bluegrass Situation Showcases at Bonnaroo and Americana Music Association
Colonial Theater, Balsam Range monthly concert series – Canton, N.C.
ISIS Music Hall – Asheville, N.C.
Redwing Roots – Mount Solon, Va.
The Festy – Roseland, Va.

Mentor Award (given to a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry):

Jim Lauderdale
Stephen Mougin
Ricky Skaggs
Tim Surrett
Pete Wernick