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SAMMY Awards Hall of Fame and Nominations announced today

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The SAMMYS or Syracuse Area Music Awards held their press conference this morning at The Palace Theater. Nominees and Hall of Fame inductees were announced. Several of the performers were on hand and we all were treated to a solo performance by Ronnie Leigh to kick things off as well as at the conclusion. The local media were well represented with print, broadcast, and online on hand as were many of the faces behind the SAMMYS as we listened to host Scott Dixon of 95X make the announcements along with Skip Clark of Wolf 105.1 who announced the country music nominees.

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This year also is the year that the SAMMYS are inducting Cortland native and rock legend Ronnie James Dio into the Hall of Fame as the Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient.

Hall of Fame Award Inductees are:

  • Homel-Alaniz Band
  • Art Robbins
  • The Tiffault Family
  • The Flashcubes
  • Gerber Music

The Music Educator of the Year:

  • John Spillet

Founders Award:

  • The Madisons

Highlights for this guy were chatting extensively with John Spillet who knew my daughter from Solvay High School and was adamant that she get out there and sing saying she could far even nationally with her talents. Exceptionally nice man. Also, chatting with Gary Frenay about Screen Test and The Flashcubes who I snuck into see at The Lost Horizon when I was just 13 years old with my cousin Greg Jackson. Nice to chat with Dixon as always, as well as Mark Bialzak, Jess Novak, Jack Bochinno, the beautiful Liz Nowak and her counterpart Carol Thorak-O’Leary and also Skip Clark among so many others that make Syracuse be heard and known.

So let us get to those nominees!

Best Pop

  • Jess Novak
  • Kill the Lites
  • April Sun
  • Sir Magnus
  • Joe Lorenz

Best Country

  • The Easy Ramblers
  • Nick Piccininni
  • Mick Fury & Midnight Moonshine
  • Just Joe
  • The Fulton Chain Gang

Best Jazz

  • Jessie Collins Quartet

Best Hip Hop

  • Oxburg
  • Mafiosa
  • Jefell
  • Tall Bucks
  • Powder Jay & Blaze-A-Lot

Best Blues

  • Funky Blu Roots
  • Double Barrel Blues Band
  • Tim Herron
  • Mark Doyle and the Maniacs – Pushin’
  • Mark Doyle and the Maniacs – Live and Burnin’

Best R&B

  • Erika Lovette
  • The Blacklites

Best Metal

  • Era
  • One Last Shot

Best Americana

  • The Ruddy Well Band
  • Pale Green Stars
  • Greg Hoover
  • Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb
  • Kayleigh Goldsworthy

Best Alternative

  • Hobo Graffiti
  • Trent Park
  • 4 point 0
  • Our Friends Band

Best Rock

  • The Gunrunners
  • Elephant Mountain
  • Safe

Modern Rock

*No Nominations*

Best Other Style

  • Duo L’Adour
  • The Fat Peace
  • Markita Collins
  • Mike Powell
  • Joanne Shenandoah

The Hall of Fame Induction takes place Thursday March 6th upstairs at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que from 7 – 10PM. Tickets cost $20 and are available through Debbie Foley at 315-247-1718 or

Tickets for the Awards Show on Friday March 7th at The Palace Theater are available at


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