2021 SAMMYS Awarded Virtually Friday Night

In the Before Times, the annual Syracuse Area Music Awards were held at the Palace Theater in Syracuse. With the pandemic continuing to limit gatherings, the SAMMYS board opted to hold the 2021 ceremony via live stream from SubCat Studios.

Rebel Radio’s Dave Frisina returned to handle the emcee duties while also announcing the nominees and the 21 award winners. SubCat Studios provided a well-crafted production with the only visible glitches being when winners forgot to unmute. For a first (and hopefully only) time all live-streamed awards event, SubCat and the SAMMYS pulled it off, a tribute to both.

Performances from Stephen Phillips, Vaporeyes, Byron Cage, Cam Caruso, and Sophistifunk added the live music element that traditionally accompanies the celebration.

See the winners below.

Best Alternative: The Exploding Flowers – Strangers
Best Americana: Harmonic Dirt – Live At The Ridge
Best Blues: Tas Cru – Drive On
Best Country: Tink Bennett & Tailor Made – Hate The Game
Best Electronic: Asael – We Believed
Best Hard Rock: Junexa – Lifeless
Best Hip-Hop or Rap: Big Nate MG – The Story of MG
Best Jam Band: Vaporeyes – Cantrips
Best Jazz: London McDaniel – Anatural Aphrodisiaca
Best Other Style: DiCosimo/Pagán – Con Moto
Best Pop: Jess Novak Band – Standing Now
Best R&B: Jaquiel – Summer Nights in the Southward
Best Rock: Atkins Riot – Couch Potato
Best Singer-Songwriter: Amanda Rogers – The Hallow
People’s Choice:
Local Artist or Band – Gary Johnson
Livestream Event or Series – Disruption Network Local Music Monday
Academic or Musical Organization – Baldwinsville Marching Band
Local Venue – Rise N Shine Diner
Jack O Bocchino Spirit of the Sammys Award: Bill Baldwin
Brian Burke Award for Best New Artist: Trauma Cat
Community Spirit Award: Corey Paige

Submission and Judging Process:
SAMMY awards are given based on the judgment of submissions sent to the SAMMYS Board by musicians in Syracuse and the surrounding area. Congratulations to the 166 artists that submitted 194 recordings. In times of darkness creativity flourishes.

An independent panel of music industry professionals and educators from around the country, led by James Abbott, reviewed the submissions and made their selections based on their merit within their genre.

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