Eighteen honorees, mostly musicians but also the president of VH1 and a local piano and organ store, will be inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in October.
The inductees were announced Wednesday in the Buffalo History Museum.
“We are proud to showcase such an amazing class of outstanding musical talent from the Western New York area,” said Anthony Casuccio, president of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1983 to “honor and protect the diverse cultural music heritage of WNY through preservation, education, scholarship and performance.”
The Hall of Fame has inducted more than 245 members, including outstanding musicians, performers, innovators and others who have made special contributions to the local music scene.
This year’s class is highlighted by Tom Calderone, president of the VH1 television channel, who started his media/music career in Buffalo as program director of SUNY Buffalo State College’s radio station, WBNY-FM.
Also being honored is Denton, Cottier & Daniels, a Getzville piano and organ store. The store traces its history to 1827, when James D. Sheppard displayed musical instruments at the old Eagle Tavern on Main Street in Buffalo. It has been on Dodge Road since 1999.
This year’s other inductees are:
• Robin Adair, a singer, songwriter, recording artist and actress who appeared on Broadway and in television and film as well as on the radio. She worked as an ambassador in the civil rights movement, joining forces with a Capital Records subsidiary, Powertree Records’ president Curtis Reginald Lewis, one of the first black composers and lyricists to own a music publishing company in the 1950s.
• Dr. Joe Baudo, a big band leader and keyboardist. The former Sweet Home High School music teacher has played a major role in keeping big band jazz alive in Western New York, directing a band playing weekly for the last several years and also recording four albums of big band and jazz.
• Joe Bompczyk, one of Buffalo’s original punk rockers. He was guitarist and songwriter for the Enemies and later recorded on Mercury Records with The Restless, a supergroup of Buffalo new wave era rockers.
• Mike Campagna, a songwriter and guitarist for stars that included Chaka Khan, Maxine Nightingale and Jennifer Holiday. Campagna has recorded with Psychic TV and has done jazz recordings and provided music for the Dan Patrick national radio sports talk show.
• Anne Fadale, the matriarch of what has been called “Buffalo’s First Family of Jazz.” Known as “Aunt Annie” when she was the house pianist for WBEN radio and TV, she studied with Oscar Peterson and was the regular solo pianist at E.B. Green’s in the Hyatt Regency for several years before her death in 1990.
• Gary Keller, a nationally known saxophone player and teacher at the University of Miami. He was a founder of the Miami Saxophone Quartet, has recorded multiple CDs and has toured, recorded and performed with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Woody Herman, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Jaco Pastorius.
• Geno McManus, guitar player, has done 18 tours of Japan, managed and served as music director for a Japanese Beatles tribute band that played at Madison Square Garden, done backing vocals for Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), and recorded on a wide variety of CDs and records in Western New York.
• Bob Meier, a trombonist and founder of the Hitmen Horns, who first recorded in 1970 and has been on dozens of records and CDs.
• Jeff Miers, the pop music critic for The Buffalo News since 2002. He has reported on the local music scene and participated in it as guitarist in such bands as the Tails and the Dollywatchers.
• David Musial, a prolific producer and performer who has performed electronic music with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, designed studios, created positive music programs for schools, recorded LPs and performed in a variety of venues
• Joe Parisi, a trumpet player and longtime music teacher in the Buffalo school system who has performed with jazz and big band outfits for decades.
• Marty Peters, a performer, producer, writer and inventor. After performing in his high school years at most of Buffalo’s bigger venues, he went to Colorado, where he ran his own studio, performed for more than 20 years, was a longtime writer for Recording magazine and invented the Slider Instrument Support System, which is widely used by guitarists with back problems.
• Jack Prybylski, jazz saxophonist and longtime teacher in Niagara Falls schools, has also recorded albums with Them Jazzbeards and several of his own smooth jazz recordings.
• Theresa Quinn, a keyboard player, singer and music director. A former member of the Gordon Highlanders marching group, she performs and arranges for musical theater, plays worship music at churches and performs jazz and other types of music.
• Spoon & the Houserockers, a blues rock combo. Elmo Weatherspoon’s Houserockers served as a launching pad for a number of performers, including Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra, before Weatherspoon’s death in 1975.
• Kenny Thomasula, who has sung and played percussion with bands from National Trust in the 1970s through Breakthru today. He has also done vocals on many radio commercials.
The inductees will be formally honored at the 32nd Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Gala on Oct. 2 at Classics V Banquet Center, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.
Until Sept. 1, tickets cost $20. After that, they will be $25. They are available at www.buffalomusic.org.