Nashville, TN (June 10, 2014) - Bela Fleck, one of the most celebrated and innovative banjo players in contemporary music, will deliver the keynote address during International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass 2014 event, which takes place September 30 - October 4 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"We are thrilled to announce Bela Fleck as the 2014 keynote speaker for IBMA's Business Conference," said IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell. "Bela was the first recipient of IBMA's Banjo Player of the Year award in 1990, and he's universally recognized as being one of the most gifted musicians in any genre of music. We look forward to hearing Bela's thoughts about the power of bluegrass music and what this art form and community has to offer the world."

IBMA's World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 - October 2; the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2; the Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 - October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.
As announced in May, Fleck will also be performing during Wide Open Bluegrass as part of the Wide Open Jam, along with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton and Stuart Duncan.

Fleck's address is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Sept. 30, acting as the official kick-off for the IBMA Business Conference portion of World of Bluegrass 2014. Located in the Raleigh Convention Center, the Pre-Bluegrass Ramble Hors D'oeuvres & Keynote Reception will take place 4-5:30 p.m. The IBMA Business Conference features the best in bluegrass networking, showcasing and professional development.

Music critics and fans credit Bela Fleck's remarkable performing and recording career with reinventing the very image and sound of the banjo. Fleck's diverse tastes and interests have taken him all over the musical map, with solo projects and collaborations in bluegrass (including his work with seminal progressive band New Grass Revival), jazz, pop, rock, world beat and classical. In 2011, Fleck wrote his first stand-alone banjo concerto, on commission with the Nashville Symphony. This work, entitled The Impostor, along with a new quintet for banjo and string quartet, was released in 2012.

The recipient of multiple Grammy Awards going back to 1998, Fleck's total Grammy count is 15 Grammys won and 30 nominations. He has been nominated in more distinct musical categories than anyone in Grammy history.

Those wishing to obtain tickets for the ticketed portion Wide Open Bluegrass (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages), Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration, IBMA Award Show tickets and hotel reservations should go to IBMA's website, Single day general admission for the ticketed portion of the Wide Open Bluegrass festival starts as low as $50, with a three-day Bluegrass Ramble pass available for $75. Additional details and pricing information are available at the website.

IBMA - the International Bluegrass Music Association - is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization's six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone-The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.
Official hashtags: #WOB, #IBMA, #Raleigh

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Press Info: Judy McDonough, JEMMedia, (615) 243-5994
General Info: Taylor Coughlin, IBMA, (615) 256-3222