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Short Bio for Press Releases:
Maria Sebastian has opened for dozens of national acts and has recorded with many of their members. She has earned 12 Buffalo / Nightlife Music Awards, a People’s Choice Award, a Buffalo Spree Album of the Year Award for Yellow Envelope, 2009, and a Global Music Award for her performance on film producer Michael Z. Gordon's song "On the Run," produced with Nelson Starr. Maria also won a NISOD Master Teacher Award in 2011 through Genesee Community College, one of many schools she has taught undergraduate writing for. She has had music placed in television and film, performs regularly in Buffalo, and has played select northeast venues as an acoustic singer/songwriter—including opening 8 times for Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. In 2011, Maria toured with 10,000 Maniacs as a backing vocalist, and rhythm guitarist. Her 2009 CD, Yellow Envelope, has earned her praise among all it has been passed on to, including The Hudson Valley’s Freeman Online (“Sebastian has a great record on her hands here.”) Her latest CD features songs for, or inspired by, figures including Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, Comic Icon Harvey Pekar, Muhammad Ali, Harry Nilsson, and others. Currently, Maria is engaged to Poet/Professor Perry Nicholas, and plays her songs on occasion with John Brady, a Buffalo Hall of Fame member. In 2012, she joined Buffalo Music Hall of Fame group Joyryde.
Maria began performing live while in high school on Buffalo's West Side. At seventeen she joined the house band at the former Club Utica -- a renowned country club in its prime. When she wouldn't sleep with the band leader she was told country music probably wasn't for her, but she already knew that. She performed in local bands and as a solo singer/songwriter in her hometown while writing and recording with 1996-born original band (later named In From the Cold) based in Buffalo and Los Angeles. The group featured world-class drummer Gary Mallaber (Steve Miller Band, Van Morrison) and ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper guitarist Jack Sherman. Their unique Pop/Rock songs were used in television and film (clients to date include CBS, Discovery Channel, and Hoggard Films).
Independently, Maria has recorded four CDs since In From the Cold. With Yellow Envelope, the Hudson Valley's Freeman Online says she has a "great record on her hands." "Yellow Envelope," the title track, came from a song her father wrote on an envelope and sent to her mother who waited for him through various stages of his complicated life. The rest of the disc explores stories about ghosts (Snow), women who would consider jail time a break (Happily), and themes about love, the eternal topic.
In 2004, Maria earned an M.A. in English / Media Studies from the University at Buffalo. She currently teaches undergraduate English--she won a NISOD Master Teacher Award in 2011--has hosted dozens of songwriting workshops, and earned 14 WNY music awards to date, along with a a Global Music Award for her performance on film producer Michael Z. Gordon's song "On the Run," produced with Nelson Starr. Maria has shared shows with: The Byrds' Roger McGuinn, Richie Havens, Los Lonely Boys, 10,000 Maniacs, The Gin Blossoms, Malcolm Holcombe, Collective Soul, Sarah Harmer, Jackyl, Greg Klyma, The Tea Party, Hothouse Flowers, Jess Klein, Vance Gilbert, Honeymoon Suite, Eddie Money, Missy Higgins, Eric Hutchinson, Pal Shazar, Pilate, and dozens of others. She has written and recorded extensively with Steve Miller Band drummer Gary Mallaber, and Ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper Guitarist Jack Sherman, and is credited on many other recordings by Warner Brothers' Alan Kroll, Adsongs Jingles (Ken Kauffman), Terry Buchwald, The Skeptics, Bass Reeves, and Jim Yoemans. For a time, she was part of the Morvels R&B Soul Revue Schoellkopf Singers, and most recently has added backing vocals and rhythm guitar to some 10,000 Maniacs shows (she toured with them in the spring and summer of 2011 for their 30th anniversary celebration).
Currently, Maria is engaged to Poet/Professor Perry Nicholas, and plays her songs on occasion with John Brady, a Buffalo Hall of Fame member, and well-loved veteran of the Western New York music scene. She has also joined Buffalo Music Hall of Fame group Joyryde, replacing Johnna Scime when she retired in 2012.
2009 - Buffalo Spree Magazine's Best of WNY for Yellow Envelope.
Buffalo Music Award: (Ended as Organization in 2010)
1993 - New Band
1994 - Rock Band
1995 - Female Rock Vocalist
1996 - Female Rock Vocalist
1996 - Rock Band
1997 - Rock Band
2003 - Solo Artist
2004 - Female Rock Vocalist
2008 - Original Acoustic Solo
2009 - Original Acoustic Solo
2010 - Original Acoustic Solo
Nightlife Music Award:
2010 - Original Acoustic Solo
Western New York's People's Choice Award (Organized in 2004 Only):
2004 - Top Solo Artist
Global Music Award:
2012 - For Singing Michael Z. Gordon's Song, "On the Run," Produced by Nelson Starr.
Winner: 2011 NISOD Master Teacher Award
Submitted by James J. Simon, Associate Dean, Genesee Community College at Medina