Inaugural SD Music Hall of Fame ceremony at OB Playhouse on Oct. 5
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 09/30/18 - 08:39 AM | 3902 views | 0 0 comments | 101 101 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jazz pianist Sue Palmer will be inducted into the SD Music Hall of Fame.
Jazz pianist Sue Palmer will be inducted into the SD Music Hall of Fame.
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It’s no secret that San Diego has had a thriving music community since the 1940s, with dozens of chart contenders emerging, across genres, in that time. Many successful careers have been launched from San Diego: country superstar Barbara Mandrell, heavy metal pioneers Iron Butterfly, pop punk trio Blink 182, and singer-songwriter Jewel all got their start here. With so much great music, it is perhaps surprising that to date there has been no local Hall of Fame, to celebrate it.

On Oct. 5 that situation will be rectified, when the inaugural San Diego Music Hall of Fame ceremony takes place at the OB Playhouse.

Hosted by event organizer Jefferson Jay, the first year’s honorees will be songwriter Jack Tempchin, best known for his work with The Eagles, pop hitmaker Jason Mraz, armless guitarist Mark Goffeney, jazz pianist Sue Palmer, long-time booker and musician John Ciccolella, and the late Lou Curtiss, music historian, radio host and original owner of Folk Arts Records.

Palmer, Goffney and The Pizarro Brothers will be among the night’s performers, while Billy Galewood will be there on behalf of Mraz. A portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to the Pizarro family to help with expenses following the tragic passing of Aileen and Aryana Pizarro in an accident earlier this year.

“We aim to honor anybody who has given in a meaningful and selfless manner to music-making in San Diego,” Jay said. “We will not exclusively honor those who have sold millions of units or achieved universal acclaim. We will also honor bookers and promoters, like Johnny Ciccolella, and folks like Lou Curtiss, who booked events, wrote music articles and ran a record store. These fellows played music, but their contributions off the stage are a large reason they are inductees.”

With San Diego’s music scene thriving, Jay felt the time was right for such an event.

“We have hundreds, if not thousands, of musicians and music-related professionals who deserve this honor. I felt it was time for musicians to take pride in being part of over a century of great music and I want to raise funds and donate them to causes that grow and nurture music in our region.”

While the inaugural focus is on current performers or recent passings, Jay hopes to expand future editions. “In our first (year), it was important for me, to pick a smaller class to ensure everyone got a their fair share of attention at the ceremony and that the show moved along smoothly,” he explained.

“We are new and it will take a bit of time to honor the huge amount of deserving candidates. We aim to be inclusive and will likely honor larger classes in the years to come to make it so the many, many deserving individuals do not need to wait any longer than is necessary for induction.”

As one of the best boogie woogie pianists on the planet, Palmer has performed around the world. She is happy to have hometown recognition.

“I am thrilled to be included in this first year,” she said. “San Diego is full of many wonderful and accomplished musicians and I am definitely honored. The best thing is that the ceremony is taking place in my hometown, Ocean Beach, right where I learned how to play boogie woogie and took piano lessons.”

For Jay, all his hard work on this event is a way to help celebrate the community he loves. “I am glad to be able to give back to my home and its musical past, which has made me the person I am today,” he said. “I met my wife and many of my friends at Open Mic. One of my best friends, who plays keyboard in The Jefferson Jay Band, I introduced to his wife at Open Mic, as well. They had their first child in August,” he mused.

“Music in this town has been amazing to me and I want to give back. I want other people to feel as great about making music in this town as I do. I want to encourage folks by giving them a place to go and be around their musical family,” Jay said. “And by giving them reasons to be proud they make music here.”

The San Diego Music Hall of Fame: Friday, Oct. 5 at OB Playhouse, 4944 Newport Ave., 7 p.m. All ages. obtheatrecompany.com.

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