The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame (BMHF) is keeping busy these days. Not only have they announced their list of 2021 inductees (see below), they are also happily at home in their new headquarters at 340 Amherst Street (next to Sportsmens Tavern and Sportsmens Park).
As a way to celebrate all of this exciting news, the BMHF will be hosting a special ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of its new headquarters. BMHOF President Anthony Casuccio and Vice President Tom Lorentz along with the members of the Board of Trustees, will be in attendance at the event, accompanied by elected officials.
Altogether, 9 music acts (bands and players) are being inducted. These professional acts, who have contributed so much to the WNY music scene, will be “officially unveiled” at the ribbon cutting on Tuesday August 31, 2021, starting at 10am. BMHOF Executive Board Member Carolyn Moser will serve as Chairperson of the 2021 Induction Ceremony. A BMHOF Induction Ceremony will be held later in the year, at an undetermined location and date.
The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame is proud to announce a class that includes:
- One of L.A.’s top session singers who has worked on hundreds of feature films, commercials, television shows and recordings.
- World renowned jazz double bassist who has collaborated with an eclectic range of
artists through the decades. clubs and festivals all over the U.S.
- Singer songwriter whose songs have received rave reviews and extensive commercial
- Rock guitarist, singer/songwriter who has performed and recorded with some of Rock music’s most acclaimed recording acts.
- Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and one of the founding members of Nashville Recording Artists Mustang Sally Band.
- Drummer who has played with a long list of jazz and other world-class artists, and whose
music you’ve heard on film and television.
- A Jazz trumpeter and singer with a career that spanned more than six decades and stretched
from coast to coast.
- Versatile indie singer/songwriter/teacher who has earned 18 local and international music awards with music placed in television and film.
- Grammy and American Music Award winning band that served as Rick James exclusive recording and touring band throughout his career.
The nine 2021 inductees are as follows:
EDIE LEHMANN BODDICKER: Her lengthy and ongoing career includes singing, contracting, conducting and consulting on hundreds of feature films, commercials, recordings, television shows and themes, radio ID‘s, non-broadcast & live performances. She has worked on films such as: Dune, The Lion King 2019 and La La land and with top recording artists including Shawn Mendes, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Harry Styles, Herb Alpert, and The Weekend. She recorded numerous classic albums: Aretha Franklin’s United Together, Madonna’s True Blue, Michael Oldfield’s Tubular Bells 2, Jaco Pastorious’ Word of Mouth, Thomas Dolby’s Aliens Ate My Buick, and Linda Ronstadt’s Get Closer. Other notable projects include: Billie Eilish and Alicia Keys – 2020 Grammys, Vampire Weekend on the Late Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Grammys, American Idol, and The Voice.
JUINI BOOTH: A master jazz bassist, an international and world-class musician, Juini Booth was a versatile and widely renowned force on both the acoustic and electric bass. His recording and performing credits read like a who’s who of jazz greats and spanned the spectrum of many jazz styles. He was best known for his work with pianist McCoy Tyner, for whom he recorded three albums for Milestone Records: Enlightenment, Song of the new World, and Atlantis. He also performed with Sun Ra, Chuck Mangione, Gary Bartz, Steve Grossman, Albert Ayler, Elvin Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Pharoah Sanders, Tony Williams, Randy Weston, Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Sonny Sharrock, Freddie Hubbard and many more.
SCOTT CELANI: Scott Celani and his supporting players are hitting colleges, clubs and festivals all over WNY and the U.S. At a typical show, audience members are treated to Celani’s well-crafted, melodic pop songs. Whether with the full band or in acoustic format (solo, duo or trio), Celani offers a powerhouse of rhythm and melody. Celani’s first 5 releases – Them Apples, Saturday, Making a Scene, Wired for Nostalgia and Huge In Europe – have received rave reviews and extensive commercial radio play. His songs have also garnered television and film placement, including “Discs” – a television pilot currently being considered for feature film release in Hollywood.
STEVE FISTER: This Rock guitarist, singer, songwriter & producer has performed with many artists: John Kay & Steppenwolf, Bon Jovi, King Kobra, Quiet Riot, The Pat Travers Band, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Michael Des Barres, Stu Hamm, Jack Cassidy, Tommy Tutone, Walter Trout, and Yngwie Malstein. He served as musical director and guitarist for Lita Ford on her worldwide tours. He is featured in the guitar documentary “Blood, Frets, and Tears”. He has produced 10 solo records including his “Live Bullets” which reached #2 on the European Blues charts. Steve has had compositions that have been featured in the Mel Brooks feature film “Spaceballs” and the hit TV show “Supernatural”. Steve has song placements on HBO, Starzz, ABC, NBC, VH1, MTV, Showtime, the Howard Stern Show and The History Channel. He is also featured in the video game “Rock Band”.
ROBIN GRANDIN: Singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, she made her mark playing in WNY bands including Pepperwood Greene, Clockworks, Ice Nine, Songbird, Prime Suspects and The Touch. She toured the US and Canada and represented General Motors at the Texas State Fair with the band Rainbow. Her Nashville, band Hurricane Jane was signed to an indie record deal on Rotation Records, and she was one of the founding members of Nashville recording artists Mustang Sally. She opened for country legends George Jones, Marty Stuart, Patty Loveless, Lorrie Morgan, Delbert McClinton, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and more. She has released 4 albums and has written over 360 originals to date including co-writing “Round and Round” on WPHD Home Grown Album Vol 3, and the single “Memories of the Heart”, the inspiration for Music to Remember WNY,
a partnered program of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
BOB LEATHERBARROW: A top live performance and studio drummer in LA, Bob has played with a long list of great jazz artists: Ernie Watts’ Quartet, Joe Farrell, Peggy Lee, Victor Feldman, Horace Silver, Doc Severinsen, Howard Roberts, John Klemmer, Jack Sheldon, Rosemary Clooney, Natalie Cole, Bob Florence Jazz Orchestra, Bill Watrous’ Wildlife Refuge Big Band, Mike Barone’s Big Band, and Bruce Lofgren’s Band. He has recorded with artists from Gordon Lightfoot to Bette Midler and Dolly Parton, from Placido Domingo to Henry Mancini to Leonard Cohen and Five For Fighting. You have heard him on film and television soundtracks including The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, King of the Hill, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, A Guy Thing, Torque, Envy, Bruce Almighty, WB Looney Tunes, Bottle Rocket, The Life Aquatic and on the 20th Century Fox fanfare.
RICHIE MERLO President’s Award: A crooner and jazz trumpeter, Mr. Merlo was featured in the Buffalo area’s leading nightclubs. In the 1960s, at the Town Casino he was vocalist and emcee for appearances by the major stars of the day. He played alongside local jazz greats including: saxophonist Phil DiRe, saxophonist Bobby Militello, pianist George Caldwell, bassist Sabu Adeyola and drummer Lou Marino in the group Buffalo Bop which captured an Artvoice Best Jazz Act award. He toured extensively from Toronto to Miami, then went to Los Angeles, and joined Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s band, of “Monster Mash” fame playing Hollywood clubs. He had a 3 year run in Las Vegas at The Sands Hotel before returning home to play in some of the top WNY clubs. He was the emcee at McVan’s, The Stage Door, Mr. Anthony’s in Niagara Falls, The Williamsville Inn, Salvatore’s Italian Gardens and Elmwood Lounge.
MARIA SABASTIAN: An award-winning versatile singer/songwriter, Maria has won 12 Buffalo Nightlife Music Awards, a People’s Choice Award, a Buffalo Spree Album of the Year Award, and three Global Music Awards. She has opened for Richie Havens, Los Lonely Boys, 10,000 Maniacs, The Gin Blossoms, Malcom Holcombe, Collective Soul, Sarah Harmer, Jackyl, Greg Klyma, The Tea Party, Hothouse Flowers, Honeymoon Suite, Eddie Money, Pal Shazar and has opened 8 times for Roger McGuinn of the Byrds. She has written extensively with Steve Miller Band drummer Gary Mallaber, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Jack Sherman, and is credited on recordings by Warner brothers Alan Kroll, Adsongs Jingles (Ken Kaufman), Terry Buchwald, Bass Reeves and Doug Yeomans. Maria also won a NISOD Master Teacher Award in 2011, an Adjunct of the Year award at NCCC, and was nominated for a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching in 2021.
STONE CITY BAND: Formed in 1978 by The King of Punk Funk, Rick James, the Stone City Band was Rick’s exclusive recording and touring band from the beginning and through the height of his career. They were responsible for hits such as You and I, Super Freak, Mary Jane, Bustin’ Out, Ghetto Life, and Fire and Desire, the Temptations’ Standing on the Top, the Mary Jane Girls All Night Long, Boys, In My House, and more. They have released their own albums under Motown’s Gordy Label and have played on recordings and tours with Rick James, MC Hammer, Teena Marie, The Mary Jane Girls, The Temptations, Eddie Murphy, Smokey Robinson, New Edition and Bobby Brown. They have appeared on The Grammy’s, The American Music Awards, Soul Train, as well as the Arsenio Hall Show, Tonight with Jay Leno, Lopez Tonight, Saturday Night Live, and Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve.
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