NYS Music’s March Madness 2021: Round 1

A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel

Henry V. Porter, 1939

Since 2015, New York State Music has crafted a March Madness bracket delving into the musical harbors of our great state. As fans and musicians ourselves, we spotlight the great talent across New York in friendly competition and discovery.

Porter coined the term that went dark for four decades. March Madness, as you know it today, is commonplace in sport and bracketing. NYS Music is here to put a musical namesake on March Madness 2021. Its furry never looses sight of the underdog, a headliner’s humble beginnings, new musical discovery and rolling with the punches in our ever-changing industry.

These are 64 bands you might not know about, but should. Artists big and small, but all homegrown in New York. With the aide of our sponsors, NYS Music March Madness is a medium for these artists to be heard, grow and discovered. Go Listen. Go Vote. And let the Madness begin.

For any band starting out, there are things that need to be addressed. Among them, what venue you’ll play, who the promoter is, who handles the sound and lights, how you’ll market yourself, where you get merch from, and more recently, how you’ll stream your show. Fortunately, NYS Music has partnered with businesses across New York State to help bands meet these needs.


Central New York promoters Creative Concerts bring together fans at venues, stretching from Albany to Rochester and Syracuse to Ithaca. Lark Hall is the soon to open mid-sized venue in Albany that will host bands of all sizes, events and more. If you need to market your show, event, band or brand, Rochester’s Balbert Marketing has you covered. Need merchandise? Homegrown Eastern New York’s 518 Prints makes quality goods for local, regional and national bands or tours. High Peaks Event Production is a team with years of experience, aiding in all your stage, lighting and sound demands. JamCast proves high quality streams for bands, podcasts and much more. Between these companies, bands will find a great deal of what they need, and support businesses from across New York and the Northeast.

Vote now for your favorites and discover some of the great up and coming music that New York State has to offer!

NOTE: Make sure you vote in ALL matchups for each region.


Lark Hall -A soon to open mid-sized Albany venue.

March Madness 2021 Lark Hall Region:

The Mountain Carol – Saranac — Vs.Kelly and Kat – Long Island

Cold Lazarus – Jamestown — Vs.Remsen Social Club – Utica

Jess Novak – Syracuse — Vs.Specialists – Upstate/NYC

Intrepid Travelers – Buffalo — Vs.Nik Moody– Long Island

Girl Blue – Troy — Vs.Organ Fairchild Buffalo

Samsara– New York — Vs.Dodongo – Ithaca

Trampoline Jetstream – Utica — Vs. — The Brass Machine – Buffalo

The Demos Rochester — Vs.Funktional Flow – Buffalo

Polls are now closed. Stay tuned for Round 2 voting, beginning Saturday, March 6 at 8am!


Central New York promoters Creative Concerts bring fans together

March Madness 2021 Creative Concerts Region:

ShwizZ – Nyack — Vs.Dirty Blanket – Finger Lakes

HillTop – Amsterdam — Vs. — Sarah King – Brooklyn

Cait Devin – Utica — Vs.Harmonic Dirt – Syracuse

Noon Fifteen –Ithaca — Vs. — Shaquan – New York

Glass Pony – Albany — Vs. — Son of a Gun – Albany

Escaper – Brooklyn — Vs. — Our Common Roots – Utica

All Poets & Heroes – Syracuse — Vs. — Mikaela Davis – Rochester

Folkfaces – Buffalo — Vs. — Antwon Levee   Plattsburgh

Polls are now closed. Stay tuned for Round 2 voting, beginning Saturday, March 6 at 8am!


March Madness 2021 518 Prints Region:

King Buffalo – Rochester — Vs.Jellz Brooklyn

Ampevene – Albany — Vs. — Periodic Table of Elephants Rochester

Grosh –Buffalo — Vs.Chris Eves and the New Normal Syracuse

Let’s be Leonard– Saratoga Springs — Vs. — The Dirty Pennies – Rochester

Purple Stuff – Albany — Vs. — PEAK – Brooklyn

The Kalahari Merman Experience – Buffalo — Vs. — Blind Owl Band – Saranac Lake

Kyngjo – New York — Vs. —Annie in the Water Albany

Kyle Stockman – Upstate — Vs. — Hartley’s Encore   Albany

Polls are now closed. Stay tuned for Round 2 voting, beginning Saturday, March 6 at 8am!


March Madness 2021 Balbert Marketing Region:

Tortoise Forest– Buffalo — Vs.Senior Living – Albany

Jeremy Beck/ Heavy Duty Horns -NYC — Vs. — Baked Shrimp – Long Island

Kate Usher and the Sturdy Souls – Montauk — Vs.The Jones Title NYC

Carpool– Rochester — Vs. — The Goodnight Darlings NYC

Frank Palangi – Queensbury — Vs. — Pickle Mafia – Rochester

Matthew Pryce– NYC — Vs. — Vaporeyes Syracuse

Sydney Irving – Syracuse — Vs.Runitup Sho – Queens

Lucky33 – Syracuse — Vs. — Gerald Slevin  NYC/Ithaca

Polls are now closed. Stay tuned for Round 2 voting, beginning Saturday, March 6 at 8am!


JamCast is a streaming platform that provides a unique experience using live, pre-recorded, archived audio & video performances, podcasting, vlogs, blogs, and more. It’s an online resource and database for all music industry professionals.

Check out more Jamcast on NYS Music

We’re also proud to present a bracket designed by the good folks at Wook+ Media, who have been keeping brackets going strong throughout the year, with unique topics and incredibly artistic designs. Check out the Round 1 graphic below:

Check out Past Years’ NYS Music March Madness Here

Creative Concertsmarch madnessMarch Madness 2021NYSMusic