Bluegrass Festival announces more performers, including some IBMA favorites

Sam Bush, left, plays with the Infamous Stringdusters during the 2017 Wide Open Bluegrass Jam. He was just announced for the 2018 Wide Open Jam, Sept. 29 at Red Hat Amphitheater, hosted by Leftover Salmon. Scott Sharpe

It wouldn’t be World of Bluegrass without mandolin icon Sam Bush, so it’s a good thing he’s coming back this year.

Bush will join the Wide Open Bluegrass closing event. The late addition was announced Monday. He and former Doobie Brother John Cowan will join Colorado jam band Leftover Salmon for the “Wide Open Jam,” Sept. 29 at downtown Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater.

Bush, a festival staple, plays the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual shindig just about every year — including 2017, when he organized a well-received tribute to heritage bluegrass band the Country Gentlemen. But he had not turned up on the 2018 schedule until this announcement.

World of Bluegrass is Sept. 25-29 in Raleigh and includes the IBMA business convention, the IBMA Awards (hosted this year by Hot Rize) and a free weekend street festival.

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