The 2021 NYS Music “March Madness of Bands” has resulted in a praised win for a Buffalo three-piece original instrumental act. Organ Fairchild beat out 63 other statewide bands to take away top honors in the college-basketball-bracket-style event. The win was a big deal for the trio as well as for their hometown of Buffalo, where they have been playing for years as the Wild Knights, and in other local bands since the early 80’s.
Organ Fairchild is a relatively new gig-venture for band members Joe Bellanti (organ, keyboards), Corey Kertzie (drums, percussion), and Dave Ruch (guitar).
Surprisingly their latest band creation that took them through the ranks of bracketed competition only had one gig under their belts (pre-covid), before the big shutdown. But that’s all it took for the band to solidify. Their foray onto the music scene was considered “an immediate success,” resulting in bookings at large festivals, clubs and drive-in concert series (all of which were postponed). It took the NYS Music “March Madness of Bands” to demonstrate just how well the accomplished band members had gelled.
“Needless to say, we were thrilled to even been included in the initial sixty-four-band bracket” says band member/guitarist Dave Ruch. “So many talented groups from around the state were competing. But then, to go on to successive rounds as people listened to our music, watched our videos and voted for us, it’s just incredible. We can’t thank our fans (both new and old) and the folks at NYS Music enough for this. And we’ve made some great connections with musicians and promoters in Albany and Long Island as well, so there will be more spinoff from this.”
After a year+ of lockdown, this significant win is terrific news for the WNY music scene, which has bearing the fruits of an impressive groundswell of talents as of late (as witnessed in this Soundcheck series).
For more on the significance of Organ Fairchild’s newest accomplishment, check out this NYS Music March Madness article that recounts the band’s trip to the top, along with an interview with bandmates.
Lead image: Iron Works photo by Michelle Cormier