Bluegrass master Del McCoury is a 2010 recipient of The National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship. McCoury was tapped for the honor this year alongside championship fiddler Texas Shorty.
Both McCoury and Texas Shorty (Jim Chancellor) will be honored at the Library of Congress and at a special concert on September 24 in Bethesda, MD. They will also receive a one-time award of $25,000.
Hearing of the award, McCoury expressed his surprise and delight.
“All I’ve ever done is play the music I love,” McCoury said. “I feel very fortunate to have made a career of it. To receive an honor like this for doing something you love just doesn’t seem real, but I am very thankful.”
Other 2010 honorees include Ghanaian percussionist Yacub Addy, Hawaiian weaver Gladys Kukana Grace, basketweaver Mary Jackson, Indian dancer Kamala Lakshmi Narayanan, Irish folk flautist Mike Rafferty, and Afro-Cuban drum maker Ezequiel Torres.
In the past 25 years years, the NEA has bestowed this lifetime achievement award to Mike Seeger, Mac Wiseman, Doyle Lawson, Jean Ritchie, Jim & Jesse McReynolds, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Ola Belle Reed, Wayne Henderson, Kenny Baker, Wayne Mainer and Johnny Gimble.