Author: Christina Abt
Alyn Syms is a Buffalo Music Hall of Fame guitarist who earned his chops as part of Rick James’ Stone City Band, performing on national television shows like Dick Clark Live, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, and Soul Train.
He later advanced his music career as the leader of his own Alyn Syms Group (ASG), recording an album that received national airplay and acclaim, but never quite elevated the band to iconic rock and roll status.
Finally, after ten years of trying, ASG disbanded and Alyn Syms walked away from the music that had defined him and his career.
“After ASG died, I became totally disillusioned with the music industry,” Syms said. “It felt as if everything I had given to making it in the that world had been a sham. So, in 1990, I quit. I set my guitars on a shelf and got a job that paid the bills. Yet the music in my soul kept playing, but in a different sound than the rock and roll I’d performed for over twenty years. Eventually, I decided to go back to school and see what I could learn about creating my own kind of music.”
Syms’ quest led him to a degree in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in music, and continued toward a Master’s Degree in Music Composition. It was a reflective period for the accomplished musician in which he became inspired to create.
“In 2004 I recorded, “The Lost Art,” Syms said. “It was an 80-minute collection of instrumental music divided into three parts, shifting from hard rock, to atmospheric and dreamy soundscapes. That achievement encouraged me to continue and in 2005 I began work on an anthology titled, “Black Forest.” I define it as acoustic guitar work with a medieval flair. To date, I have released Part I (Black Forest/2013) and Part II (Cyrano/2018) and am working on Part III (Variations on a Theme) along with some music that is actually returning me to my ASG roots.”
Validation of Syms’ musical evolution has been positive and impressive. In 2016, he was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Additionally with the launch of “Black Forest,” internationally renown philharmonic conductor, JoAnn Falletta became aware of Syms’ music and praised it as, “….lush orchestrations and inspirational melodies. Totally captivating – music of great imagination and color, brilliantly performed by Alyn.” While Syms values the public praise, he notes the ways in which his music is helping people is most satisfying.
“Several years ago I began playing my music at Roswell Hospital in the lobby and at veteran’s outreach centers,” Syms said. “It’s been an amazing experience watching people who are struggling with their physical and mental health, often unable to communicate, actually light up as they listen to my music. I have to say, it’s better than any standing ovation I’ve ever received.”
Alyn Syms will perform in concert on Tuesday, March 12th 7:30pm at The Aurora Theatre, 673 Main St. East Aurora. where he will debut a new musical work titled, Camerata. Tickets are $20 General Admission and $30 VIP which includes seating in the front rows and a copy of Alyn Sym’s Greatest Hits. To purchase online go to: theauroratheatre.com/product/concert-alyn-syms