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The Irish Music Association Announces The 5th Annual Irish Music Award Recipients

The Awards Recognize the Irish Music Industry's Most Accomplished Artists and Performing Groups

WESTON, Mo., Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Irish Music Association has released its list of The Best of the Best in Irish Music for 2012, creating new international icons in the genre.

During the 5th Annual Irish Music Award (IMA) presentation ceremony, the IMA recognized outstanding Irish artists in 18 different categories, from "Best Irish Tenor" to "Top Celtic Rock Band Worldwide."  The event took place in the 60-foot-underground historic brewery cellars of the 1842 Royal Brewing Company at O'Malley's Pub in Weston, Missouri.

"The Irish Music Association is very proud to be the premier organization recognizing and celebrating outstanding Irish artists from the Emerald Isle, America, and beyond. Every year, we are astounded by the vast array of musicians in the Irish music industry, as well as the enthusiastic support from the many fans of Irish music across the world," IMA Executive Director R. T. Reeder said.

Saturday's awards ceremony included performances by New York musician, Mickey Coleman, originally from County Tyrone; violin player, Marie Gavin, of the Greater Kansas City area; Chad McAnnally, of St Paul/ Minneapolis; and Siusan O'Rourke and Zig Zeitler from Michigan.

Also featured were special award presentations by members of the U.S. Army including Sergeant Ryan Jones, who presented the award for Top Button Accordion to Paddy O'Brien; Sergeant Don Ott, who presented the award for Best Female Vocalist to Chloe Agnew of Celtic Woman; and Master Sergeant Britt Cogan, who presented the award for Top Group to Gaelic Storm.  Top Solo Performer in a Pub Venue, was presented by Joel Nichols of KMBC-TV to Mickey Coleman.  The awards program can be seen in its entirety at: http://www.irishmusicawards.com.

Reeder, who founded the organization in 2003, said the mission of the IMA is to "promote, produce and perpetuate Irish music worldwide by producing shows, sponsoring festivals, and producing the annual Irish Music Association Awards Ceremony." Website: http://www.irishmusicassociation.com

The IMA Awards event helps "recognize, promote and support Irish music and musicians from the U.S., Ireland, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom."

This year's "Lifetime Achievement Award" went to Joanie Madden for her dedication to Irish music.

Irish Music Award Recipients for 2012

Top Solo Performer in Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK) - George DonaldsonTop Solo Performer in a Pub Venue (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Mickey ColemanTop Duo in a Pub, Festival, Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK) - The Ryans Irish BandTop Group (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Gaelic StormBest New Irish Artist(s) (IRE, EU, US, UK) - The RoversBest New Irish CD - The Ryans - "Songs of Irish Freedom"Top Celtic Rock Band (IRE, EU, US, UK) - BarleyjuiceBest Irish Tenor (individual) - Paul ByromBest Female Vocalist (individual/trad.) - Chloe AgnewBest Sean-nos Singer - Maighread Ni DhomhnaillTop Traditional Performance Show - Celtic CrossroadsTop Traditional Group in a Pub, Festival, Concert - Dervish Tommy Makem Award - The Irish RoversTop Uilleann Piper (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Barry KerrTop Harpist (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Seana DaveyTop Fiddle/Violin (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Mairead NesbittTop Button Accordion (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Paddy O'BrienLifetime Achievement Award - Joanie Madden

Said Reeder, "The Irish Music Association was very happy to announce our recipients and host the awards ceremony well in time for St. Patrick's Day.  We hope that when the world turns green in celebration this March, everyone will have had the chance to experience the music of all our nominees," he said.

O'Malley's Pub, where the event took place, is the home of the annual O'Malley's Weston Irish Festival. The pub is also home to the Weston Brewing Company and the American Bowman Restaurant.  Promoted as the "oldest brewery West of the Hudson," the brewery sponsored the first Kansas City Royals baseball team in the early 1900s.

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