Voting for 2012 Irish Music Awards open through Jan. 12

Weston, MO – The Irish Music Association announced today that online voting for winners of the 2012 Irish Music Awards is now underway through January 12, 2013.

The awards recognize the Irish music industry’s most accomplished artists and performing groups in 18 categories, from "Best Irish Tenor" to "Top Celtic Rock Band Worldwide." Recipients will be determined through a global website voting process on the Irish Music Association website which began Dec. 1, 2012.

Members of the Irish Music Association are encouraged to participate in the voting process. Last year, more than 10,000 people voted, and thousands more are expected to participate for the coming award process. To vote, visit: http://www.irishmusicawards.com/

"We’re urging all of our members who are devoted fans of Irish music to participate in our online voting process for these outstanding groups and individuals. These awards recognize the fantastic achievements of our most talented musicians and artists and the magnificent Irish music they create,” said IMA Executive Director, R. T. Reeder.

The IMA Awards "recognize, promote and support Irish music and musicians from the U.S., Ireland, the European Union and the United Kingdom." Winners will be announced on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 at 3 PM CST in the historic brewery cellars of the 1842 Royal Brewing Company at O'Malley's Pub in Weston, Missouri.

The Irish Music Award Nominees for 2012 are as follows:

Top Solo Performer in Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK) George Donaldson, Christy Moore, John Doyle, Tommy Fleming

Top Solo Performer in a Pub Venue (US, IRE, EU, UK) Ian Gould, Luka Bloom, Tony Cummins, Mickey Coleman

Top Duo in a Pub, Festival, Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK) The Ryans Irish Band, Lilt, Switchback, Siusan O’Rourke and Zig Zeitler

Top Group (US, IRE, EU, UK) Cherish The Ladies, Lunasa, Gaelic Storm, Altan

Best New Irish Artist(s) (IRE, EU, US, UK) Burning Bridget Cleary, The Rovers, The Fighting Jamesons, Ciorras

Best New Irish CD Lilt - Onward, The Mickey Finns - Prayers and Idle Chatter, The Ryans - Songs of Irish Freedom, Mairi Morrison & Alasdair Roberts - Urstan

Top Celtic Rock Band (IRE, EU, US, UK) Barleyjuice, Roger Drawdy and the Firestarters, The Clumsy Lovers, Scythian

Best Irish Tenor (individual) Paul Byrom, Anthony Kearns, Daryl Simpson, Tommy Fleming

Best Female Vocalist (individual/trad.) Katie McMahon, Chloe Agnew, Méav, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of RUNA

Best Sean-nós Singer Bríd Ní Mhaoileoin, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Aine Meenaghan, Len Graham

Top Traditional Performance Show The Fureys, Celtic Crossroads, The Henry Girls, Fidil

Top Traditional Group in a Pub, Festival, Concert Vishten, Guidewires, Slide, Dervish

Tommy Makem Award The Irish Rovers, Máirtín de Cógáin, Mick Moloney, Jimmy Crowley

Top Uilleann Piper (US, IRE, EU, UK) Diarmaid Moynihan, Cillian Vallely, Barry Kerr, Paddy Keenan

Top Harpist (US, IRE, EU, UK) Seana Davey, Chad McAnally, Triona Marshall, Sibohan Owen

Top Fiddle/Violin (US, IRE, EU, UK) Martin Hayes, Alasdair Fraser, Máiréad Nesbitt, Kevin Burke

Top Button Accordion (US, IRE, EU, UK) John Williams, Liam O'Connor, Paddy O'Brien, David Munnelly

Lifetime Achievement Award Patrick Healy, Patsy Whelan, Carmel Quinn, Joanie Madden

Reeder, who founded the organization in 2003, said that this year has seen a record number of nominations and votes to date. “This outpouring of support reflects a growing appreciation and love for the music of Ireland," he said.

Reeder also said the awards ceremony will take place again at O'Malley's Pub, January 26th 3 PM CST USA. O'Malley's Pub is the host 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" in 1842, the brewery sponsored the first Kansas City Royals baseball team in the early 1900's. http://www.westonirish.com/OMALLEYS.html.

For more information, contact R. T. Reeder by email at rtreeder@irishmusicassociation.com or by phone at 816.699.9950.

To contact O’Malley’s Pub, located at 500 Welt Street, in Weston, MO (approx. 20 minutes from North Kansas City), call 816.640.5235.

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