What do you call the event to honor the best musicians in your city?

A gramophone was used to play records.

Here’s what they used to listen to recorded music. (From sklampert.com)

Perhaps you have heard of the Gramophone.

That’s the machine invented to listen to recorded music. Alexander Graham Bell was involved. Then Emile Berliner came up with a process in 1887 that used records. Records evolved to black vinyl, topped with grooves. The early record players were equipped with a horn-shaped speaker of sorts. That’s where you heard the sound.

And from the Gramophone came the Grammys, the big daddy of music awards shows.

From the Grammys came an offshoot of localized music awards shows. Some of them took on names that paid tribute to big daddy — and perhaps gave them some immediate credibility. It certainly made any said nickname easier to remember.

In San Francisco, they celebrate the Bammies, officially the Bay Area Music Awards. The nation’s capital is home to the Wammies, short for Washington Area Music Awards. Big cities, great music.

The Syracuse Area Music Awards trophy, known as a Sammys award

The coveted Sammy trophy. (Provided by Sammys board)

Syracuse has the Sammys. The Syracuse Area Music Awards was founded in 1993 by Frank Malfitano, then the executive director of the downtown Landmark Theatre and since the founder and executive director of the M&T Syracuse Jazz Festival.

Smaller city. Great music.

Sammys chair Liz Nowak has just revealed the dates for the 2014 edition of the event. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be March 6, a Thursday night celebration at Upstairs at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. The best-of-trophies and other honors will be presented March 7, at the Palace Theater on James Street, where this year’s edition sold out.

Performers will include The Mike McKay Band, Brownskin, Pale Green Stars, The Goonies and a reunion of 1980s power pop standouts The Flashcubes.

The dates are lining up. Submissions for the best-of-recording categories will be accepted beginning Dec. 1. That’s when applications will be available online at the Sammys’ site. Recordings from Central New York artists and/or producers released this calendar year are eligible. The deadline is Jan. 10.

People’s Choice Awards nominations will be accepted online starting Jan 1, and voting starts on Jan. 15.

Tickets will be available in February.

Yes, Syracuse music is something to celebrate.

The legendary rocker Lou Reed, who passed on earlier this fall, played while a student at Syracuse University. Fast forward four-plus decades, and pop-rockers Ra Ra Riot formed while they were students at SU. Blue-eyed soul singer Martin Sexton is a Syracuse native. Straight-edge hardcore band Earth Crisis, arguably the most popular band of that genre in the world, is a Syracuse band. Banjo great Tony Trischka was born in Syracuse and played as an SU student. That’s just an inch of toe dipped into the deep water. There are hundreds more hard-working, great-sounding, original-thinking, Syracuse-attached bands and musicians worthy of that shiny black Sammys trophy.

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