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SAMMY Releases Nominees for 2020 Awards Show; Voting Open Until Late February

Tom Honan

The people of Syracuse are about to celebrate the local music scene. Syracuse Area Music Awards has released the nominees for this year’s SAMMY Awards held in March. A record number of over 120 entries from recording artists this year have been submitted.

Executive Director Liz Nowak says the people of Syracuse can expect a lot from the event.

The diversity ?— we have rap, hip-hop and country, rock and roll, some of the finest Jazz, pop, R and B and just diversity. I mean, it’s a little tiny sampling of what we have in the community.

She’s excited that one of the first female recording engineers, Judy Mareiniss, is being inducted into Hall of Fame this year.

There are four Hall of Fame inductions this year — the Moss Back Mule Band, WSYR television producer Tim Fox, rapper Seth Marcel, and Mereiniss.

Acclaimed musician and songwriter Garland Jeffreys will receive the SAMMYS Lifetime Achievement Award.

SAMMY Awards Founder Frank Malfitano credited Nowak for her energy and spirit to carry on. He will present the founder’s award to vocal group U A D.

Credit John Smith / WAER News
SAMMY Awards founder Frank Malfitano.

The fact that we are still going strong after almost thirty years, and the fact that we got a scene like this that celebrates itself, I think it’s really incredible.  I think every city in the country should have one like this.  I think it’s wonderful.”

People’s Choice online voting is now open with over 130,000 votes already cast. You can vote on for categories like Best Local Artist or Band, Best Local Venue, and others.

The awards will start on March 5 at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que with the Hall of Fame Induction. The following day, March 6, the SAMMY Awards show will take place at the Palace Theater in Eastwood. The awards show presentation will host six musical performances from Jeffreys, the Moss Back Mule Band, and other local musicians.