Rochester Music Hall of Fame honors six artists and groups

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Music Hall of Fame on Sunday celebrated its 2020 inductees, after their originally planned ceremony two years ago was canceled because of the pandemic.

The four artist inductees included Rochester-native Nancy Kelly, a jazz vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who has performed internationally. The Dady Brothers, a duo that combines elements of American folk and Irish traditional music, also received the honor.

The ceremony also inducted the Eastman School of Music and Michael Laiacona, who founded the Greece, NY-based touring equipment company Whirlwind Music Distributors. The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Cheap Trick have used the company’s products on their tours.

In a statement, the deans of the Eastman School of Music said the school’s induction coincided with the 100-year anniversary of the school’s founding.

“To have our induction coincide with Eastman’s centennial is a testament to the meaningful impact Eastman School of Music has had on our community, here in Rochester and throughout the world,” they said.

With Sunday’s ceremony, the hall of fame has 54 inductees, 17 of whom are graduates or faculty at the Eastman School of Music.

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame, a nonprofit that recognizes artists and music organizations with local ties, has held eight induction ceremonies since 2012. A volunteer board of music experts decides who gets inducted.

The 2020 artist and organizations inductees honored in 2022 were:

  • Dady Brothers, American folk and Irish traditional musicians
  • Mick Guzauski, Multi-Grammy-winning sound engineer
  • Nancy Kelly, Jazz musician
  • Roy McCurdy, a drummer who has performed with jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sonny Rollins
  • Michael Laiacona, the founder of Whirlwind Music Distributors, a Greece, NY-based touring equipment company
  • The Eastman School of Music, founded in 1921 by George Eastman

You can read more about the inductees on the Rochester Music Hall of Fame’s website. Past inductees include Rochester-native flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, who performed at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.