SAMMYS Announce 2024 Hall of Fame Class and Awards Nominees

The annual Syracuse Area Music Awards announced its 2024 Hall of Fame class and nominees in 13 music categories on Tuesday. SAMMYS weekend happens March 7-8 with the Hall of Fame induction dinner taking place Upstairs at the Dinosaur on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. and the SAMMY Awards ceremony at the Palace Theatre in Eastwood on Friday, March 8, also at 7 p.m. Tickets for both events as well as the live stream of the awards show are available now here. Prices are $30/$25/$15 respectively.

Tim Fox of Newschannel 9, himself a SAMMYS Hall of Famer, was joined by Jus Mic of 96.5 The Beat and Skip Clark of 92.1 The Wolf in revealing this year’s honorees.

Representatives of the Westcott Street Cultural Fair with Newschannel 9’s Tim Fox

This year’s Hall of Fame class crosses genres and international borders. The inductees include Utica/Rome-based singer-songwriter Jon Liebing, who passed from glioblastoma last July; Syracuse-based musician and audio/video technician Steve Schad; Barbados native and long-time Syracuse resident, producer/engineer, Joseph “Sepp” Herbert; and The Westcott Street Cultural Fair, a Westcott Nation institution since 1991.

The SAMMYS also bestows other honors annually, including Educator of the Year, which will be given to Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers this year. Rodgers teaches courses on songwriting and creative non-fiction writing at Syracuse University as well as workshops on guitar and songwriting at Berklee College of Music. He is also the founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine and an active musician throughout New York State.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Symphoria Conductor Sean O’Laughlin. O’Laughlin has led Symphoria since its inception in 2012 and has led the Chicago, San Francisco, Vancouver, Dallas, and Houston Symphonies throughout his career. The Syracuse native has also conducted tours with Josh Groban, Sarah MacLachlan, and the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration.

The Founder’s Award, presented by SAMMYS Founder Frank Malfatano, will be presented to the Syracuse jazz band The Critic’s Choice.

Other awards to be presented SAMMYS weekend include the Community Spirit Award, the Jack O Bocchino Spirit of the SAMMYS Award, and the Brian Bourke Best New Artist Award.

The Community Spirit Award is being given to Newschannel 9 journalist and personality Carrie Lazarus for her work in establishing the Fund for Extraordinary Talent which supports Central New York performing artists who lack financial means to continue their training.

The Jack O Bocchino Spirit of the SAMMYS Award is given to a supporter of the Central New York music scene. This year’s recipient is Lori Newcomb, a photographer who regularly attends shows throughout Central New York.

The Brian Bourke Best New Artist Award, presented by SubCat Studios will be announced at a later date.

In addition to the award presentations on Friday, there will also be several music performances at the Palace, including Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, Shawn Seals, Steven Cali, Sydney Irving, and The Rollin’ Rust.

The SAMMYS People’s Choice Awards is an ongoing online vote. The annual online competition allows fans to vote online each day for their favorite artist, venue, event, and educational/musical organization. Voting will continue through March 3 here, with the winners being announced at the awards ceremony on March 8.

Neil Minet performs at SubCat Studios

Each Thursday at 10 a.m. leading up to the SAMMY Awards, Newschannel 9’s Bridge Street show will feature performances from past SAMMY winners and nominees. The schedule for these performances is:

Feb. 8 – Dylan Michael

Feb. 15 – Exoticz

Feb. 22 – Kid Roscoe

Feb. 29 – Byron Cage

March 7 – Critics Choice

March 8 – Sean O’Loughlin

Check out the full press conference at the SAMMYS Press Conference, including performances from local singer-songwriter Neil Minet. Below the link is the list of 2024 SAMMY Award nominees.


• Bob Holz – Holz-Stathis: Collaborative

• Dave Solazzo & The Bridge – Locrian Skye

• Salt City Voices – For Once In My Life

• Vanessa Vacanti – Vanessa Vacanti


• Brian and the Beautiful Birds – HeartWind

• Brian Thomas and The Strikes – Wild Mountain Honey

• George Mann – This Chain

• Mike Powell and The Echosound – Plastic Spoon Honeymoon

• Ryan Holweger – Emerado


• Ama Kutin – The Journey

• Anthony Saturno – Mixed Bag of Beans, Vol. 2

• Asael Puentes – Forgotten Ideas

• Ceili Rain – Crash This Gate

• Empires In Orbit – Notes from the Ether: Above


• Count Blastula – BLAST OFF

• One Man. The Band – Galaxy Light Machine

• Transient Kicks – The Clock Has Problems


• Coughlin – Run to the Light, Carol Anne!

• Jess Novak & Ben Wayne – Sonrise

• Sydney Irving – Unfashioned Creatures


• King Kool and His Royal Blues – Leaving Behind

• Nate Gross – Raw Turkey: Live



• From Ruins – Left for Dead

• KILTER – Another Failed Attempt

• Landslide – In Waking Life

• Max Scialdone – A Light In The Darkness


• Bead N’ Bone – Undercover

• Sadeesha Morgan – Higher

• Tyjhier – The In-Betweens


• Amanda Marie – REBORN

• A Kid Called Danger – Cowards & Kings

• Mikey T – Before I Go

• Trex – My Story, Our Story?

• Zak G – For The Gs (Side A)


• Christian Parker featuring Earl Poole Ball – Sweethearts: A Tribute To The Byrds ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’

• Jon Rogalia Ft. Whiskey Hollow Rush – Unapologetic

• Steven Cali – Nights To Burn


• Boustrophedon – The Colossus

• Elephant Back – The Black Album

• The Flashcubes – Pop Masters

• Pale Green Stars – Become Who You Are

• Perilous – Yeah!!!


• Filled to the Brim – Confessions

• Gina Holsopple – More

• Mike Gibson – The Perfect Nothing

• Professional Victims – High & Mighty

• Vagabonds – Live @ SubCat Studios


• The Action! – Astronaut

• Al Papers – Gotta Get It

• Isaac French – Drunk When I Wake Up

• Steven Cali – Girls & Whiskey

• Tyjhier – Better Off

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