Sub Pop Co-Founder Jonathan Poneman to Receive A2IM's Lifetime Achievement Award

Jonathan Poneman
Sarah Cass

Jonathan Poneman

The American Association of Independent Musicians (A2IM) will honor Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman at the 2019 Libera Awards, the organization announced on Tuesday (May 14). Poneman will receive the group’s lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the independent music scene.

“Jonathan Poneman was critical in the evolution of the company, the establishment of grunge, and the development of the Seattle sound,” said A2IM president and CEO Dr. Richard James Burgess in a statement. “From Sub Pop’s beginnings as a fledgling, Seattle-based independent record label through its growth into one of the most influential recorded music companies of all time, what Jonathan did at Sub Pop changed the direction of rock music, and his relentless commitment to authenticity re-affirmed the necessity of independent labels.”

A21M also announced that rock band Sunflower Bean, pianist-composer Jean-Michel Blais and soul and R&B singer Deva Mahal will perform at the awards, with more to be announced shortly. The show is set to take place on June 20 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.

Sub Pop was founded in 1988 by Poneman and Bruce Pavitt (who had formed a nascent version of the label two years earlier). The Seattle-based label became synonymous with the grunge explosion of the following decade after signing future stars of the genre including Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney. The label’s current roster includes Father John Misty, Beach House, Iron & Wine, Wolf Parade and Low.


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