The seventh annual Rochester Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place at Rochester’s Eastman Theatre at 7 pm on April 22. Among those being honored this year are percussionist and composer John Beck, Sacred Steel band The Campbell Brothers, drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Tony Levin, and Emmy-nominated composer Ferdinand Jay Smith. Guest performers include members of the band L’Image and Grammy-winner Robert Randolph. More musical guests will be announced. Prime Time Funk will perform as the official Hall of Fame house band. Tickets are on sale now.
Steve Gadd is hailed as one of the most accomplished and skilled drummers of his generation. Born in the suburbs of Rochester, Gadd took up drums when he was seven years old. When he was 11, he sat in with Dizzy Gillespie, launching a lifetime of work with some of the greatest artists of our era. He has performed in studio and on tour with iconic artists such as Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Eric Clapton. He continues to make music in conjunction with other artists and with the Steve Gadd Band. His work in the field of percussion has inspired generations to follow. Chick Corea once commented, “Every drummer wants to play like Gadd because he plays perfect…He has brought orchestral and compositional thinking to the drum kit while at the same time having a great imagination and a great ability to swing.”
Bassist Tony Levin was born in Boston, but moved to Rochester to study at Eastman School of Music, where he studied under the great Igor Stravinsky. After meeting fellow student Steve Gadd, he traded upright bass for electric bass. After playing in several New York bands, he was offered the opportunity to tour with Peter Gabriel in 1977. He still plays in the Peter Gabriel Band, and along the way has become a member of such acts as King Crimson, Stick Men, and Levin Brothers. He has authored books containing photographs he has taken throughout his career, and a book of poetry and lyrics.
Percussionist and composer John Beck has been teaching at Eastman School of Music for six decades, and currently serves as Professor Emeritus of Percussion. His work has led him to perform around the world, and has earned him numerous accolades, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from prestigious organizations here and abroad. At the induction ceremony, Beck will perform solo as well as with a percussion ensemble and the Hall of Fame house band Prime Time Funk.
Sacred steel band The Campbell Brothers features Chuck Campbell on pedal steel guitar, Phillip Campbell on electric guitar and bass, Darick Campbell on lap steel, and Carlton Campbell on drums. From their humble beginnings as the house band for a House of God Church, they have been invited to bring their gospel music to such venerable music halls Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Their work is now being featured in the Sacred Steel exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Heritage and Culture.
Ferdinand Jay Smith’s impressive resume includes his work at Jay Advertising, his early career as a radio DJ and manager of musicians, and a list of credits in the music industry for movies and television. The Emmy-nominated composer is best known for his theme songs for the HBO feature presentation, the CBS movie of the week, NHL Tonight, and the musical themes for the 1980 and 1988 Olympics. A musical medley and video presentation will celebrate Smith’s contribution to music in the entertainment industry.