Top Rochester musicians to be honored

Local News

The 2018 Rochester Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place this Sunday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre in Rochester.

Rochester Music Hall of Fame President-elect Jack Whittier and 2018 inductee Ferdinand Jay Smith discussed the celebration Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“We have five inductees going in – the man to my left, of course,” Whittier said motioning to Smith. “Then we have John Beck who is Professor Emeritus from Eastman. He’s been the percussion professor there since 1959. He’ll be going in, as will his student Steve Gadd, and Tony Levin – bassist for Peter Gabriel, King Crimson among others – and then we’re going to be inducting The Campbell Brothers as our fifth inductee.”

For Smith, the call to the Hall was unexpected. “I was pretty stunned. I’ve always believed in this whole Rochester Music Hall of Fame. I’ve gone to many of them. I actually was the person who introduced Lou Gramm and Joe English, both of whom I’ve known for years, so I was very excited.”

In addition creating the music featured on News 8 each day, Smith has lent his talents to numerous projects over the course of his career, including some of the iconic themes associated with HBO. “I love what I do and I surround myself with really good people,” he said. “You mentioned Steve Gadd. Steve Gadd actually inspired me to get into music when I was a little kid. I was in a play with him. I just used him – oh, a few months ago – on a project for two days. In fact, music for this station. And he’s just, he’s a monster. I mean the engineer who is an Emmy Award winning and Grammy Award winning engineer, who I actually found as a second years ago, just sat next to me and he kept saying – just listen to this guy! I mean, he’s amazing. He inspired me.”

When it comes to the induction ceremony, it’s more like a concert wrapped around a few presentations. “One of the things I think we’ve learned over the years is the more music, the better!” Whittier said. “So we have a short biographical film, we present each inductee with their award and then we’re on to the music. So if you’re going to be there on Sunday night, you’re probably going to get two, two and a half hours worth of music, and it’s a very diverse. There’s going to be a little bit of music for everybody’s likes and tastes.”

Whittier said there’s always a surprise or two during the ceremony, so be sure to be in your seat by 7:00 p.m.

For tickets, visit the Eastman Theatre box office or go to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame website, click here.

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