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Irish Eyes, Ears, And Awards

WESTON, MO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Irish Music Association (IMA) will honor the "best of the best" in Irish music at the Third Annual Irish Music Award Presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 26th in the historic brewery cellars of the 1842 Royal Brewing Company at O'Malley's Pub in Weston, Missouri.

"The IMA's Award Presentation Night highlights the most celebrated Irish music and talent, from the more traditional to the eclectic," IMA Executive Director R. T. Reeder said.  This year's nominations include some of the Irish music industry's most famous artists and performing groups. View a complete list of the nominees.

Reeder, who founded the organization in 2003, said the mission of the IMA is to "promote, produce and perpetuate Irish music worldwide."  This is accomplished by producing shows, sponsoring festivals, and producing the annual Irish Music Association Awards Ceremony, he said.

The IMA Awards event helps "recognize, promote and support Irish music and musicians from the U.S., Ireland, the European Union and the United Kingdom."  Eighteen awards will be presented at the award ceremony, from "Best Solo Performer in a Concert Venue" to "Top Celtic Rock Band Worldwide" to a "Lifetime Achievement Award" for dedication to Irish music.

Recipients will be determined through a global website voting process on the Irish Music Association website, which started earlier this month and will continue through Jan. 12th. Last year, more than 3,000 people voted; thousands more are expected to participate.

Award categories are as follows:
Top Solo Performer in Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Top Solo Performer in a Pub Venue (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Top Duo in a Pub, Festival, Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Top Group (US, IRE & EU)
Best Female Vocalist (individual/traditional) (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Best New Irish Music Artist(s) (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Top Celtic Rock Band (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Top Irish Tenor (individual)
Best Sean-nos Singer
Best New Irish CD
Top Traditional Performance Show
Top Traditional Group – In Festival, Pub & Concert
Tommy Makem Award
Top Uilleann Piper (US, IRE, EU)
Top Fiddle (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Top Harpist
Top Button Accordion (US, IRE, EU, UK)
Lifetime Achievement Award

Last year's award recipients included: Brian O Hairt for "Sean nos Singer," Celtic Woman for "Top Group," Mairead Nesbitt for "Top Fiddle," and Anthony Kearns for "Best Irish Tenor."

— Crystal Lynn Huntoon