SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A year ago this weekend, the 2020 Syracuse Area Music Awards were one of the very last large gatherings in Central New York.
Bringing 600 people to pack the Palace Theatre wasn’t in the cards for this year. So the SAMMYS are taking a cue from the Grammys and the Golden Globes and going virtual. SAMMY Lifetime Achievement honoree Dave Frisina of TheRebelRocks.com will be both on-line host and presenter.
“I’ll be going through fourteen different categories plus People’s Choice Awards,” Frisina says, “And letting people know who the nominees are and who the judges have decided will take home the SAMMY in a variety of different categories. So, we’ll see how it all works out.”
The live stream on Facebook will originate from SubCat Studios in Armory Square. A record 194 recordings were submitted for consideration this year. Everyone nominated has been sent a Zoom invite, so that winners can accept from home.
“Hoping this takes the SAMMYs to the next level, where rather than it being limited to the people there in person, now anybody can watch,” says SubCat studio manager T.J. James. “Hopefully, it reaches a whole new audience. It’s gonna be really easy for people sharing it to spread it outside of the Central New York area pretty quickly.”
Dave Frisina says, “This at least gives them a little recognition, a little incentive to continue doing what they’re doing and for everybody else to recognize what we have right here in our own backyard.”
The evening will include performances from five former SAMMY honorees, including last year’s winner for best singer/songwriter Cam Caruso, plus Byron Cage, Sophistafunk, Stephen Phillips, and Vaporeyes. Those performances were all recorded earlier this year, to help keep the numbers in the studio within safe limits during the live stream.
“It’s not going to be the same,” says Frisina, “But a friend of mine said she’s going to watch the SAMMYs in her jammies! A lot of people dress up for the event. This year, they’ll be dressing down, I think.”
With no long waits for winners to march to the podium, Dave Frisina says this year’s program should clock in at an efficient one hour or so.
The stream is free, but donations will be accepted to support the SAMMY Awards.