2019 Winners - FreshGrass


Blue Summit

Santa Cruz, California
Blue Summit is a genre fluid bluegrass band that first formed in 2016. They are a remarkable group of young musicians who have grown up performing in the California bluegrass community. One of their latest achievements includes a CBA showcase at the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) event held in North Carolina. They have been gaining traction with their unique sound, sharing their music all over the west coast. Later this year, they plan to travel overseas for the first time.


Anna Tivel

Portland, Oregon
Anna Tivel reaches for that thread of understanding with her music, that moment of recognition, of shared experience. There are hundreds of thousands of miles on her touring odometer and each town is a tangled web of heartache and small reasons to believe. Tivel’s characters are both common and unforgettable. Ann Powers of NPR writes, “She possesses a genuine poet’s sense that words matter more than persona, or a showy performance. Her images linger, and become populated with the energy of the real.” With three full-length albums out and a fourth due out this April, Tivel continues to touch on a common human thread.


Max Allard

Chicago Illinois
Max Allard is a 17 year old banjo player from Chicago. He has been playing banjo since he was 11. He studies with Greg Cahill, Chris Walz and Ryan Fisher at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Max plays in the Americana trio From the Start as well as in the duo Bushel & Peck with his brother Otto Allard. Max won the 2018 RockyGrass Banjo Competition in Lyons, Colorado.


Tristan Scroggins

Nashville, Tennessee
With a signature raw mandolin groove and keen sensitivity to style and artistic innovation, twenty-four-year-old mandolinist Tristan Scroggins is quickly becoming a highly influential voice of both music and community in the world of bluegrass. As a teenager, he and his dad Jeff formed the band Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, which found international success, touring 300 days a year at its peak and appearing at festivals such as Merlefest and Wintergrass. Although he is known for his traditional mandolin chops, Tristan also has a keen interest in pushing the boundaries of the genre. With his duo Scroggins and Rose, (with Grammy-nominated violinist and composer Alisa Rose), he has worked on incorporating classical song forms and arrangements into bluegrass-inspired tunes


Josie Toney

Olympia, Washington
Josie Toney has been a fixture of the folk music community since a young age, growing up in the contra dance community of Olympia, Washington. Starting violin lessons at the age of 5, she quickly gravitated towards the fiddle tunes her father began teaching her as soon as she could hold the fiddle off of the floor. At 15 she helped form The Retrospectacles, along with fiddler Andrew Foster, pianist Scotty Leach, and Bassist Ethan Jodzeiwicz, who went on to energize contra dance communities around the country.