SAMMYS 25th Anniversary Inductees and Nominees Announced

The Syracuse Area Music Awards held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce this year’s Hall of Fame class and nominees in 14 categories for the 25th anniversary of the awards. Recipients of the Educator of the Year Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award were also announced at the presser at Eastwood’s Palace Theater.

The 2018 SAMMYS honor albums from Central New York musicians released in 2017. This year’s ceremony takes place March 2 at the Palace Theater of Syracuse. Advance sale tickets for the awards show are $20 and can be purchased through the Syracuse Area Music website.

This year’s SAMMYS Hall of Fame class includes a mix of musicians and music industry professionals. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place March 1 upstairs at the Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse. Tickets for this are $25 and also available through the Syracuse Area Music website. Honorees this year are Stacy Waterman, a production manager responsible for many of the biggest concerts in Central New York over the past 20 years. She has had a hand in handling shows such as moe.down, the Saranac Concert Series, Taste of Syracuse, K-Rockathon as well as her most proud accomplishment, the Salt City Waltz, a celebration and tribute to the music of The Band and their farewell concert, The Last Waltz.

Also honored this year is Maryjo Spillane. Spillane is a tour and production manager who has risen through the ranks of a primarily male dominated industry to become one of the most respected in the injury. Her clients have included Kelly Osbourne, Slayer, Dolly Parton and Heaven & Hell (the latter day Ronnie James Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath). She has been thrice nominated as a Pollstar “Road Warrior” and made the publications “People to Watch” list, the first woman to ever receive both honors.

Guitarist John Cadley is the third member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Cadley learned to play guitar at the age of 13, playing along with Kingston Trio records. He formed his first band, the Rum Runners, at boarding school and continued to play with various bluegrass bands throughout his college years. He was a member of the Long Island folk group the Glencoves, who score at top 40 hit in 1963 with the song “Hootenanny.” Cadley continued his career into graduate school, where he connected with Tony Trischka and Tom Hosner to form the Down City Ramblers.

The final 2018 inductee is the band DOVE. DOVE was a five-piece outfit influenced by the early ’70s glam movement. Setlists of the time often included covers of David Bowie and Jethro Tull, along with DOVE originals “Kidd” and “I Know.” From 1971-1973 Howie Bartolo (vocals, sax, flute), Rick Cua (bass, vocals), Dave Hanlon (drums, percussion), Larry Serafini (guitar, vocals) and Larry Arlotta (keyboards) packed venues across Upstate New York.


The 2018 Educator of the Year Award recipient is the Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College, Monk Rowe. Rowe has an extensive resume of performing, educating and presenting throughout the Mohawk Valley and beyond. Since beginning his teaching career at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School in 1974, Rowe has taught in various schools right up to the present day. As Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive, he has conducted oral histories of over 330 jazz personalities throughout the United States.


The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to 105.9 The Rebel DJ and Program Director, Dave Frisina. Already a member of the SAMMYS Hall of Fame, Frisina has been a champion of local music since beginning his local music spotlight show “Soundcheck” in 1979, which airs at 9 p.m. on Sunday nights. Frisina has also incorporated a weekday “Local Lunch” into his regular 2-6 p.m. slot on The Rebel. Throughout his 40 years in Syracuse radio, Frisina has been the rock behind the local music scene, not only through his Sunday night programming but at local venues. If there’s a show happening in the Syracuse area, chances are Frisina is in attendance.

Dave Frisina

All Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a ceremony Upstairs at the Dino on Franklin Street in Syracuse on Friday March 1. Awards for the 25th Annual SAMMYS will be presented on March 2. Musicians performing at the awards show include a reunited DOVE, the Merry Pranksters, Elephant Mountain, Professional Victims and Count Blastula.

The People’s Choice Awards, selected through online voting that is ongoing leading up to the ceremony will be awarded in the categories of Best Artist, Best Venue and Best Festival or Music Series. Voting can be done at the Syracuse Area Music website.

The Brian Bourke Award for Best New Artist will also be presented that night. The award is voted on by industry professionals and music journalists. The winner of Best New Artist will receive six hours of recording time at SubCat Music Studios.

The full list of nominees is below. Of particular note is the presence of multiple nominees, Chris Eves (Floodwood, Skunk City and Chris Eves & the New Normal) and Billy Harrison (All Poets & Heroes, Jess Novak Band).

Best Pop

All Poets & Heroes – Where We Lived and What We Lived For
Nate – Summer is the Cure
Sera Bullis – The Road to Marcellus
Ben Mauro – Good Day
BEA – Old Habits

Best Jazz

Peter Allen Alt Jazz – It Was Just About That Time
Tim Herron – Thinquisition
Robert Holz – Visions: Coast to Coast Connection
E.S.P. – Zero Gravity

Best Hip Hop or Rap

Sophistafunk – Real Vibration
Seth Dollar – Vanity
Wigs – No Turning Back
Steve Cook – M.I.D. Twenties
Suppa Satty – Who You Thought It Was?

Best Americana

Mark Wahl – Circadia
Austin MacRae – Keeper
Jane Zell – Almost Real
Harmonic Dirt – Anthracite
Ruddy Well & The Region Legion – Common Ground

Best Alternative

The Action! – 5
Goodnight Forever – Dim Lit Motivation
Mattydale Music Collective – Dreamwyld
Phantom Chemistry – Everything’s Great
Against The Giants – Harden Your Heart

Best Rock

Flashcubes – Forever
The Alpha Fire – Embers
Tommy Gunn – Talk of the Town
Jess Novak Band – Fireworks
The Penetrators – Legacy

Best Hard Rock

Ecliptic Vision – Omphalos of the Void
Sampere – World of Illusion EP
Jeremiah’s Razor – Jeremiah’s Razor
Breaking Solace – The Stand
Between Hope and Fear – With the Water

Best Other Style

Answer the Muse – Now
Leo Crandall – The Art of Swimming
A Cast of Thousands – The Fifth
John Harris – Wake the Dead
Harriet Tubman Freedom Music Festival – Music for Freedom: Harriet Tubman Freedom Music Festival Live! Vol 2

Best Jam Band

Late Earth – The Prevail
Barroom Philosophers – Barroom Philosophers
John McConnell – By Design
Chris Eves & the New Normal – Find Your Way
Old Deer Ensemble – Festival

Best Singer/Songwriter

Amanda Rogers – Heavy Blue
Alex Gideon – Know Different Than Before
Cam Caruso – On the Other Side
Sydey Irving – Hello Stranger
J. Schnitt – How to Be Happy About the End of the World

Best Blues

Bad Mama’s Blues Band – There Goes the Rent
Matthew Black and the Blues Dragons – Matthew Black and the Blues Dragons
Moon Dog Howlers – One Track Mind

Best R&B

Skunk City – Sparked
Kings of the Fall – The Ascension
Diana Jacobs Band – Good Metticine

Best Country

Floodwood – Till I Die
Matt Dunn Band – I Am this Road

Best Electronica

Leper Pony – White Savior
Mazedude – American Pixels
Man Woman Machine – Ultra-Xenosonic

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