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Mark of Distinction: Hoffmann honored in Syracuse

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.

Multi-faceted musician

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.

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