Notes from the Chair

We are continuing to be severely affected by the COVID pandemic here in the UK and virtually all over the world. While the air corridors are closed we have to say goodbye (again) to holidays and flights, postponed during the early days. Hard to realise that it is a whole year since this started. Our condolences go out to all who have experienced losses in this awful time. Not being able to say goodbye to loved ones properly is devastating – the only comfort being that we are not alone.

Many of us by virtue of being ‘locked up’ have, however, had more time on our hands and been able to discover a wealth of music, information and tuition on websites and Facebook. I’ve been greatly impressed by the tuition from Midnight Skyracer which must be as good as you’d get anywhere. Makes me want to stop decorating and get the instruments out!

Where the opportunity arises and if you are able, please do consider purchasing CDs and donating to our professional bluegrassers, who are unable to work. There are many people in the same situation, but this is our music and we must continue to support our musicians where we can.

Keep Safe …

BBMA Chair

COVID 19 and Brexit

Last year was disastrous for festivals, tours and other bluegrass events.  The rollout of the vaccines does show some light at the end of the tunnel but it’s clear that many organisers are waiting to see what the latest guidance will be before committing time and effort to new ventures.  The BBMA will continue to try to keep you informed as and when we know the situation.

The Musicians’ Union have produced a comprehensive guide to the restrictions for the UK.

Besides COVID 19 there is also the issue of Brexit. Details of what you will need to know to work as a musician in Europe can be found on the ISM website.


Bluegrass, like most of the live music scene, has been badly affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. We all hope the situation will only be temporary. As this is a quiet time for everyone, it was understandable  that at a recent Committee meeting Dave Teague announced that he was bringing forward his intended retirement as Chairman.  The Committee would like to than Dave for all his hard work on behalf of the Association, particularly in the area of Tour Support. We wish him well in all future endeavours.

Sherryl Payne is now acting chair and has posted the following announcement in the BBMA Facebook group.

Dave Teague’s recent resignation from the Chair, there have been several changes to the committee which has resulted in four out of five elected positions being ‘Acting’ only until an AGM takes place. For this reason and to abide by our Constitution we have decided to hold an AGM this year using Zoom and an electronic method of voting. Details will be in the next magazine out in September. Postal votes and any new nominations will, of course, also be accepted.

Sherryl Payne
Acting Chair

Further details about the proposed AGM can be found at

Jan Jerrold Award – 2020/21

Nominations are now open for the Jan Jerrold Award. This is the BBMA’s premier award for the person who has made the most significant recent contribution to the Bluegrass music scene in the UK.

Your nominee doesn’t have to be a member of the BBMA but all nominators must be members so please include your membership number with your nomination.

Nominations will close at the end of May and the award will be announced at the BBMA AGM.

Who do you think has made a difference? Please send me their name and your reasons for nominating them. And please do it now, while you are thinking about it!

Thank you.

Les Packer

PS Past Winners
Pat Francis, Gary Payne, Roland Emmanuel, Stuart Williams, Richard Holland, Kevin Garratt, Dave Bresnen, Rick Townend