Dynamic Lineup Slated for MKAFs Inaugural Bluegrass Fest Sept. 12 From seasoned Bluegrass veteran bands to contemporary twists on Bluegrass sound to sensational rising stars, the inaugural Bluegrass at the Beach produced by Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) will be a sizzling, family-friendly musical showcase that appeals to all ages. As part of MKAF’s 20th anniversary celebration, the daylong Bluegrass at the Beach music festival will be presented at the Cultural Arts Village in Destin on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. This family-friendly celebration of music and culture will feature seven award-winning bluegrass bands, youth crafts and music in the Kid’s Art Village with an interactive Pickin’ & Paintin’ area, and a diverse array of food and beverage offerings. Blue Highway will headline this year’s event, which also features performances by The HillBenders, Willie Sugarcapps, Run Boy Run, Moore Brothers Band, Dread Clampitt and Dismal Creek along with a special guest appearance by 16 year-old rising bluegrass star, Danielle Yother. Here's a closer look at the local, regional and national performers who will hit the stage at first ever Bluegrass at the Beach festival this fall. Blue Highway Headlining Bluegrass at the Beach is Blue Highway out of Kingsport, Tennessee. The five-member award-winning band is comprised of founding members Jason Burleson (banjo and vocals), Rob Ickes (dobro and vocals), Shawn Lane (mandolin, fiddle and vocals), Tim Stafford (guitar and vocals), and Wayne Taylor (bass and vocals). Blue Highway, honored with awards including 24 collective IBMA Awards, six SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and two Grammy nominations, is known for its tight three- and four-part harmonies, sharp instrumental work, memorable songs and welcoming stage presence. The band members share a rare decades-long history of playing, performing and songwriting together, creating an undeniable synergy and connection on stage. The HillBenders The HillBenders, named 2010 National Single Mic Champions, is a high-energy collaboration of musicians Mark Cassidy on banjo, Gary Rea on bass, Jim Rea on guitar, Nolan Lawrence on mandolin and Chad “Gravy Boat” Graves on dobro. The Springfield, Missouri band is known for its high-octane shows, tight harmonies and powerful musicianship and has recorded three albums including “Down to my Last Dollar,” “Can You Hear Me?” and most recently “Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry” — a unique newgrass approach to the Who’s rock opera “Tommy.” Like many modern bluegrass groups, The HillBenders aim to bridge the gap between bluegrass and more contemporary music. The band does this by reaching into their own musical tastes pairing bluegrass with good old-fashioned rock and roll as well as jazz, funk and Americana. Willie Sugarcapps Willie Sugarcapps is the collaboration of Will Kimbrough (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele), Grayson Capps (vocals, guitar and harmonica), Corky Hughes (guitar), and musical duo Sugarjane Cane which is Anthony Crawford (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and kickdrum) and Savana Lee (vocals, guitar and snare.) Each brings a unique style to the jamboree, yet together they are inspired and produce sincere, organic and harmonious musical art. Dismal Creek Dismal Creek comes to Bluegrass at the Beach from just down the road from Destin, Fla., at the Florida-Alabama line. The four-person band embraces its heritage of Southern tradition and hospitality, exemplified in its lively stage presence and nods to forefathers in the bluegrass genre. Dismal Creek includes Rick Stanfield on banjo, Dub Bryant on upright bass and vocals, Neil Sebree on mandolin and vocals and Jim Hall on guitar and vocals. The band members are influenced and inspired by trailblazers in the genre such as bluegrass founder Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and the Stanley Brothers. Run Boy Run Arizona-based Run Boy Run is a family affair created by brother and sister Matt Rolland (fiddle and guitar) and Grace Rolland (cello, octave mandolin, guitar and vocals), along with sisters Bekah Sandoval Rolland (fiddle, guitar and vocals) and Jen Sandoval (mandolin, octave mandolin and vocals) and Jesse Allen (bass). The band’s beautiful three-female lead vocals blend effortlessly as the band masterfully dips into bluegrass, folk and Americana music. Moore Brothers Band Bringing a youthful fire to the bluegrass stage is family band Moore Brothers Band made up of 16 year-old Jacob on mandolin, banjo and fiddle; 20 year-old Daniel on bass and 11 year-old Isaac on guitar. The South Bend, Indiana-based band is self described as a “roots & wings” band, “simultaneously traditional and progressive, hot while being on the verge of old-timey, almost flashy while being tied to the mountains.” The brothers’ musical talent and improvisational skills make this blend possible and lend to a refreshingly unique show. The band plays selections from Americana, blues, newgrass, grass, country, jazz and gospel and often includes classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s as well as originals from middle brother Jacob. Dread Clampitt Local Northwest Florida boys Dread Clampitt will take the stage with their unmistakable mix of funky bluegrass fusion, folk rock and Americana. The trio grew from its roots at south Walton County’s famed Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Fla., and the band has gained a regional and national following in recent years. At the 2015 Beachcomber Awards, the band was named “Best Americana Artist” and honored in the Beachcomber Awards Hall of Fame. Dread Clampitt is Balder Saunders (mandolin, electric mandolin and vocals), Kyle Ogle (guitar, electric guitar and vocals) and Kenny Oliverio (upright bass, electric bass and vocals). A touch of humor as well as sincere lyrics are always in the musical mix with this band that has been called “blue-eyed soul grass” and “hipbilly.” The eclectic band pulls sounds from bluegrass, rock, blues, jazz and Louisiana Bayou funk. Danielle Yother Also breaking the age boundary at Bluegrass at the Beach is special guest artist 16 year-old Danielle Yother of South Carolina. She is a singer/songwriter and accomplished musician playing guitar, mandolin and bass, who was recently featured in Flatpicking Guitar magazine. Yother has already made an impression on the bluegrass and country worlds having played with or for renowned musicians such as Blue Highway, Wayne Henderson, The Boxcars, Steve Martin, Vince Gill and Rhonda Vincent. Tickets for the one-day festival are $45/MKAF members, $55/general admission. Children (under 12) are free. VIP tables are $750 each. They include premium seating for eight and 16 drink tickets. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.mattiekellyartsfoundation.org/pr/newsreleases-bluegrass.htm. Doors open at 10 a.m. Parking is available on-site as well as at convenient satellite parking areas with free shuttle service. For more information on how you can become a member of MKAF, gain benefits as an event sponsor, provide a donation or explore opportunities to get involved on a committee of the Board of Directors, call (850) 650-2226 or visit www.mattiekellyartsfoundation.org/pr/newsreleases-bluegrass.htm. Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable arts organization, was founded in 1995 on the cultural, educational and spiritual beliefs of the late Destin Matriarch, Mattie Kelly. The champion of cultural arts and education in Northwest Florida, MKAF's vision is to impact lives through art and culture. Learn more in SoWal Groups.