Jun 06, 2008 Ian Stewart Uncategorized
Guitarist Mark Hoffmann enters Sammys Hall of Fame Friday at Taste of Syracuse:
Central New York guitar veteran Mark Hoffmann’s multi-decade career will be celebrated this Friday when he’s inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards Hall of Fame.
The annual awards ceremony will take place at the 13th annual Taste of Syracuse between 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday June 6, on the main stage at the corner of Franklin and Washington streets, downtown. Admission is free.
Hoffmann’s fellow hall of fame inductees are jazzman Larry Luttinger, bluesman Roosevelt Dean, rock guitarist Dave Novak, saxophone teacher Jerry Santy and vocalist Sandy Bigtree. In addition, the late great stage performer and radio broadcaster Armond Magnarelli will be honored with the Sammys’ prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
With an impressive list of performances and ensembles to his credit, Hoffmann stands as a more-than-worthy inductee. In his many years of performing, Hoffmann has dealt with nearly every facet of the music business from working in regional roadhouses to touring alongside renowned artists and being signed to a major record label.
His musical endeavors, both past and present, display a natural curiosity that openly defies the restrictions and boundaries of a single genre. This rare and admirable trait has led Hoffmann to explore a wide variety of musical textures ranging from rock, blues, R&B and funk to bluegrass, folk and even gypsy jazz.
Although he requires no introduction to most Syracuse fans, Hoffmann’s accomplishments stretch far beyond local fame.
Remarkable resum (c)
Early on he formed the Martins, a bluegrass/folk duo with childhood friend and celebrated mandolinist, Lou Martin. Hoffmann went on to make a name for himself as a member of Jam Factory, a Syracuse-based R&B/funk sextet that included future Paul McCartney/Sea Level drummer Joe English. After cutting their teeth by opening for some of the most well-known acts of the era, the group signed to Epic Records and released the LP “Sittin’ In The Trap” in 1970.
After leaving Jam Factory, Hoffmann continued to immerse himself in other exciting projects including Magic Fingers with bassist Gary Goal and later with Baskin, Hoffmann & Lee alongside Seatrain keyboardist Lloyd Baskin and drummer Tommy Newman.
Now, 40 years after forming Jam Factory, Hoffmann remains musically active in a number of different projects. He lends his muscular guitar work and seasoned vocals to MojoFilter, a four-piece blues/rock outfit comprised of experienced CNY veteran musicians and featuring vocalist Lisa Henderson.
Hoffmann also helms the acoustic “hot jazz” group Swing This, which includes fellow Sammys and Old-Time Fiddle Hall of Famer Hal Casey on violin and MojoFilter comrade Bob Purdy on bass. The quintet pays tribute to the innovations of violinist Stephane Grappelli and gypsy guitar nonpareil Django Reinhardt, whose distinctive style of “Jazz Manouche” mesmerized European and American audiences alike in the 1930s.
Besides playing with his regular groups, Hoffmann often shows up to jam with other bands and at area open mikes. Over the last eight years, working musicians from all over central New York have had a standing invitation to join the talented guitarist and a variety of his friends to jam up at Syracuse University’s Inn Complete. He schedules those open sessions several times a year.
Aside from his own endeavors, Hoffmann also plays in The Nasty Truth, an R&B/urban funk hybrid led by his son, bassist/vocalist/stage personality Gustav Hoffmann. The band’s lineup also includes Hoffmann’s daughter, Anna, on vocals.
“I very much look forward to performing with my adult children,” Hoffmann said. He’ll play guitar with The Nasty Truth at Empire Brewing Co. the same evening as his induction ceremony. The Truth will plug in at about 10 p.m. Friday June 6, at the Empire, 120 Walton St., in Armory Square.
The respect and appreciation between Hoffman and his children is clearly mutual.
“Papa’s versatility as a musician is a natural extension of his warm, solicitous personality and respect for music itself,” Gustav said. “The change-the-world beliefs of his Jam Factory days live on in his playing and interactions.
I am honored to call him my father and my friend.”
Despite his wide range of experience and success, Mark Hoffmann remains modest, grounded and most of all grateful for the support he receives from family, fans and the Syracuse musical community.
“I’m very humbled to receive the award,” Hoffmann said of his upcoming Sammys Hall of Fame induction.
Sammy awards and performances
During Friday night’s Sammys ceremony, trophies will be awarded for the best recordings of 2007 in ten different musical categories. A total of 45 different bands and performers submitted discs which earned nominations.
While the awards will be announced between 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Friday June 6, current and previous nominees will entertain audiences at the Taste of Syracuse main stage from noon to 11:30 p.m. Here’s the band schedule:
Noon to 1 p.m. – Grupo Pagan
1 to 2 p.m. – Five to Life
2 to 3 p.m. – Oxburg
3 to 4 p.m. – Bobby Green & A Cut Above
4 to 5 p.m. – Lisa Gentile Band
5 to 6 p.m. – Primetime
6 to 7 p.m. – Dead Rose
7 to 9:30 p.m. – Awards ceremony
9:30 to11:30 p.m. – Simplelife.
For information about the Sammys, call 727-5693, or visit syracuseareamusic.com.
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