A Celestial Induction

A Celestial Induction
October 18th, 2006
MATT MANERA – Arts & Life Editor

A star will touch down gracefully this Thursday at the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.

Nelson Starr, a Philosophy graduate from UB, will be warmly inducted in front of onlookers at Club Paradise.

Starr has been a music icon in Buffalo for some time. He is a well-respected singer and songwriter, with experience ranging from writing and producing television and film soundtracks to performing jazz and rock. Even acting is in the gamut.

The artist’s enthusiasm is coupled with warmth and honor.

“I am extremely honored to be given this great award, especially since it is the result of a vote of a board of my musical peers,” he said.

The selection process for an induction can be tedious and overwhelming due to the talent in Buffalo, but Starr was enthusiastically selected by local artists.

“It is a very warm feeling to be embraced in such an outward fashion by those who are fellow musicians, and to have earned their respect,” he said. “The respect goes both ways.”

Despite Starr’s experience, talent and time invested in the Buffalo music and arts scene, the induction came as a surprise.

“I had no expectation of getting in. I submitted some paperwork last year to be considered and was not inducted in 2005. I had little hope of it this year. I had, in a sense, forgotten about it and was really surprised when I received the phone call.”

The BMHOF rigorously hunts for talent in its purest form, but instead of limiting their search to scouting, they also encourage submissions.

“Several fellow members of the BMHOF urged me to submit my bio and some music on CD, so I put a pretty decent package together,” he said. “There are a number of sizable requirements for membership, but apparently I met those.”

Starr did meet the usual standards, except for one unspoken requirement: He is much younger than most BMHOF inductees. Generally musicians are not even considered until the age of 50 or older.

“I was pretty apprehensive about even seriously being considered due to my tender age of 38. Yet, it proved not to be the great barrier I assumed it might be. I suppose it’s more about what you’ve actually done in the industry or, better yet, for the art of music. At least I’d like to think that,” he said.

Starr has indeed made a vast contribution to the arts. But, he isn’t the only star of the family tree. Alongside him, the Starr family is made up of highly talented musicians that have all earned their place, but Nelson Starr is the first to be inducted.

“I do hope that, eventually, my Father (Nelson Starr III; trumpeter, educator) and brother (Eric Starr; drummer, composer, author) will be considered and inducted. They both deserve it. My grandfather is also worthy of consideration (Nelson Starr II, trumpeter) but he is from the WWII generation and may be, sadly, overlooked,” he said.

Even though Starr feels humbled by the accomplishments of his family he is pleased with his own endeavors.

“I am very proud of the work I have completed on a 3 song EP for Maria Sebastian. She is a true gem and huge talent on worldwide scale. I am also working to complete a, dare I say, masterpiece for a rather upcoming indie-rock group that I am not at liberty to disclose at present, but they are incredible,” he said.

“On the strictly commercial front, the music for season 3 of Court TV’s Psychic Detectives has been in heavy rotation as well as my latest scoring for the new hit show, Missing Persons Unit,” he said.

In addition to that, Starr has several other projects in the works. His most publicly notable accomplishment of recent is touring with former Tea Party frontman Jeff Martin.

“The whole Jeff Martin solo endeavor has come under some stress due to the health issues of drummer Michael Lee. He was a huge part of our presence. Now that he is unavailable, Jeff has had to make some tough decisions as to how to move forward with his solo career and album without him,” he said.

As of now, Martin is touring acoustically using the Toronto Tabla Ensemble as his backing band.

“It’s a pretty neat collaboration that has been somewhat well received. Yet, and this is my opinion, I feel fairly confident that Jeff will have to get back to his heavy rock roots sooner rather than later,” he said.

Starr however moves forward at all times and is planning for the future, which is just as busy, but this time around he has scheduled some time for himself.

“Besides the albums that I will wrap in the next six months, I plan to, very selfishly, carve out time to do my own solo record – a follow up to Segue, my first and only solo release,” he said.

Starr will not only be honored at the induction ceremony tomorrow, but will also bond with several groups.

“I will perform a tune with Party Squad as well as a song solo, and then a couple tunes with the Tails in a sort of reunion,” he said.

The Tails are a group that Starr and his brother, Eric, had achieved great success with in the ’90s, nearly breaking national.

But behind the rock ‘n roll and the chaos of Starr’s music involvement stands an important person in his life. Patty Starr is not only his wife, but his most important sponsor of all.

“Patty is, of course, very excited for me,” he said. “She is my biggest supporter. We are in this together and that can be tough. Music, as we all know, is a real roller-coaster ride.”

The lifestyle that accompanies the business of music can be trying, but Starr is just happy to be part of the club.

“I am just happy to be recognized by my peers and the community. I am honored to join this esteemed club. That’s enough benefit right there.”

Starr’s ceremony will take place Oct. 19 at Club Paradise in Blasdell, N.Y. Also inducted will be Lejaren Hiller, Jim Whitford, Take 6, Joseph Wincenc, Bruce Moser, John Hunt, David Lee Shire, The Soul Invaders, and Mike Meldrum.

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http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/article.php?id=28890

Content © 2006 – The Spectrum Student Periodical, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Hall of Fame plays out at the national level

Hall of Fame plays out at the national level
By ANNE NEVILLE
News Staff Reporter
10/18/2006

The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and Museum will induct 10 people and groups Thursday at a ceremony in Club Paradise, Blasdell.

“I’m very happy with this group,” said Katie Hildreth, owner of Noize Productions of Buffalo and president of the music hall of fame. “It’s a good mixture of people who are on a national level, as well as people who are still based here in Buffalo. And because of the technology today, people can stay in Buffalo and still do a lot of work and have a very full career.”

One of those is inductee Nelson M. Starr, says Hildreth. Starr, a composer, singer, musician and producer, has written scores for the TV programs, “Psychic Detectives” and “Missing Persons Unit.” He still performs live, and just finished a tour with Jeff Martin of Canadian band the Tea Party.

David Lee Shire, a Buffalo-born composer of Broadway and off-Broadway musicals, as well as film and television scores, will be inducted. Shire composed and adapted music for “Saturday Night Fever” and won an Oscar in 1980 for Best Song for his title song for “Norma Rae,” “It Goes Like It Goes.”

He was married to actress Talia Shire, and in 1974 he scored the movie “The Conversation” for her brother, Francis Ford Coppola.

The nationally known group Take 6 will also be inducted with its members Claude V. McNight III, Joel Kibble and Mark Kibble. Take 6 has won awards in the categories of gospel, R&B, pop and jazz. The group is on tour and will not be able to make the ceremony.
Also honored will be:

• Michael Meldrum, longtime guitarist, singer and songwriter, as well as a promoter and founder of the Buffalo Song Project. Meldrum is famous for his “open mic” nights and annual tribute concerts to John Lennon and Bob Dylan at Nietzsche’s. Meldrum is “a mentor to a lot of other musicians,” said Hildreth.

• Jim Whitford, a singer, songwriter, composer and musician, formerly of the Desires and Pine Dogs.

• Bruce Moser, co-owner of Could Be Wild Promotions. “He’s worked with lots of national artists and is very close to Bono from U2,” said Hildreth.

• The Soul Invaders, now called the Billy McEwen Band, has been an award-winning local R&B band for more than a decade.

• Joseph Wincenc, a violinist, music conductor and educator who founded the Amherst Symphony Orchestra in 1946, the Orchard Park Symphony in 1950 and the Clarence Summer Orchestra in 1959 and worked as musical director and conductor at all three. He was also an associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He died in 2003.

• Lejaren A. Hiller, a retired professor of music composition and a pioneering theorist and composer of electronic and computer music, also composed both pop and classical music. He died in 1994.

• John H. Hunt, a jazz musician and promoter, led WBFO’s development as a force on the national jazz scene. He died in 1985.

Tickets cost $20 and will be available at the door of Club Paradise, 3950 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell. The evening’s musical performance includes John and Mary with the Valkyries.

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Buffalo Music Hall of Fame

BUFFALO MUSIC HALL OF FAME TO HONOR 2006 INDUCTEES AT CLUB PARADISE

This year’s inductees are: Nelson M. Starr, Lejaren Hiller, Jim Whitford, Take 6, Joseph Wincenc, Bruce Moser, John Hunt, David Lee Shire, The Soul Invaders, and Mike Meldrum.

This year’s Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony and Show will be held on Thursday, October 19th at 8:00 PM at Club Paradise, 3950 McKinley Parkway, Bladell, NY 14219. Admission is $20 per person at the door.

The Awards Ceremony will be preceded with a VIP cocktail party at 6:30 PM open only to Hall of Fame inductees, board members, selected sponsors and members of the press.

Hall of Fame Board Member, Susan Banks will emcee the event sponsored by WKBW/Channel 7.

The evening will feature live entertainment including John & Mary with The Valkyries, Nelson Starr, The Tails, Party Squad, Billy McEwen & The Soul Invaders and Mike Meldrum.

The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame recognizes groups and individuals who have had a significant impact on the WNY music scene and/or achieved success in the music industry on a national and often an international scale.

http://www.buffalomusic.org

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INXS Rockstar

A picture of me and Marty Casey (first runner up of the reality show, INXS Rockstar) jamming one of his new originals at a party (09/04/06). I’m singing harmony and playing keys.

-N

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Buffalo News Review: Jeff Martin Tour

Jeff Martin brings his first tour as solo artist to Buffalo

By JEFF MIERS
NEWS POP MUSIC CRITIC
7/7/2006

Former Tea Party mastermind Jeff Martin kicks off the second leg of his very first tour as a solo artist with a gig here in Buffalo on Thursday, part of this summer’s Thursday at the Square summer concert series.

Martin and his new band – which includes Jimmy Page & Robert Plant drummer Michael Lee, percussionist Ritesh Das of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble and local multi-instrumentalist Nelson Starr – toured Canada a few weeks back, immediately following the release of Martin’s solo debut nod, “Exile and the Kingdom,” a record that deepens the dramatic, technicolor, world-music-infused strains of hard rock that the Tea Party spent more than a decade developing.

Following his Buffalo appearance, Martin will continue on with further Canadian dates – a few of them supporting alt-rock quartet Live – and ultimately end up in Australia, where he’s likely to be greeted as a returning hero – the Tea Party has always been a favorite of the Australian rock cognoscente.

The Thursday at the Square show starts off with a set from Burning Paris at 5 p.m. Admission, as always, is free.

WHO: Jeff Martin with Burning Paris
WHEN: Next Thursday
WHERE: Lafayette Square
TICKETS: Free
INFO: www.buffaloplace.com

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Thursday at the Square summer concert

Jeff Martin brings his first tour as solo artist to Buffalo

By JEFF MIERS
NEWS POP MUSIC CRITIC
7/7/2006

Former Tea Party mastermind Jeff Martin kicks off the second leg of his very first tour as a solo artist with a gig here in Buffalo on Thursday, part of this summer’s Thursday at the Square summer concert series.

Martin and his new band – which includes Jimmy Page & Robert Plant drummer Michael Lee, percussionist Ritesh Das of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble and local multi-instrumentalist Nelson Starr – toured Canada a few weeks back, immediately following the release of Martin’s solo debut nod, “Exile and the Kingdom,” a record that deepens the dramatic, technicolor, world-music-infused strains of hard rock that the Tea Party spent more than a decade developing.

Following his Buffalo appearance, Martin will continue on with further Canadian dates – a few of them supporting alt-rock quartet Live – and ultimately end up in Australia, where he’s likely to be greeted as a returning hero – the Tea Party has always been a favorite of the Australian rock cognoscente.

The Thursday at the Square show starts off with a set from Burning Paris at 5 p.m. Admission, as always, is free.

WHO: Jeff Martin with Burning Paris
WHEN: Next Thursday
WHERE: Lafayette Square
TICKETS: Free
INFO: www.buffaloplace.com

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John Lombardo — Founding member of the 10,000 Maniacs and John and Mary

It’s extremely rare to encounter a pure musician- the unique artist who can skip the middle step of trial and error and translate a melodic idea straight away into a credible performance.

Whenever I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nelson, both on the stage and in the studio, I have left feeling both amazed and inspired by his effortless mastery of all things musical.

John Lombardo — Founding member of the 10,000 Maniacs and John and Mary

http://www.maniacs.com/http://www.johnandmary.net/

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Photo’s From the road!


Check out some photos from the tour with Jeff Martin. That’s me playing keyboards.

As of right now, we are on hiatus from touring as a band while Jeff is performing with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble.

Visit http://www.kochcan.com/jmlive/ for more pics.

-Nelson

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Robbie Konikoff — Studio Owner (Audio Magic) and Talent Scout

His brilliantly crafted songs, distinctive and memorable vocals, and always innovative music production make Nelson Starr the Steve Winwood of his generation… the total package.

I am a huge fan of his musical artistry and extremely humbled and proud to call him my friend.

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Ken Rutkowski — Producer/Engineer/Owner, Outer Limit Recording Studio

In my ten years of studio ownership, no one has challenged my ears like Nelson. When working with him I always need to make sure I am at the top of my game.

Nelson’s musicianship surpasses that of any of my clients – so much so that he’s on a very short list of people with whom I’ve chosen to collaborate in the past decade.

His original music is extremely evocative, very well planned, extremely rich and textured, and the technical aspects of his performances are never in question.

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