Street Performer Elijah Harris Junior Honored With SAMMY Founder’s Award


You’ve seen him around town, guitar in hand, serenading the crowds walking up to the dome or waiting in line for a show downtown. Elijah Harris Junior will be honored at this year’s SAMMYs with a Founder’s Award. In his speech announcing his choice for the award Frank Malfitano, founder of the Syracuse Area Music Awards and executive director of JazzFest stated, “He’s a part of the DNA of Syracuse. He’s a part of the soul of Syracuse. I think he’s one of the music scene’s greatest good will ambassadors.”

“Frank Malfitano has been very kind to me,” says Harris. “I was the first person let into the first Jazz Festival.”

Harris has been playing music throughout the city for over 51 years, no matter what the weather is. “I began doing this because I love music.”

Elijah Harris Junior will be honored at the SAMMY Award Ceremony Friday, March 8th at the Palace Theatre on James Street in Syracuse. Tickets and information are available at

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