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The Beat Goes On: Event honoring the local music scene held Saturday

Musician and 2019 Inductee Michael “Hozz” Hauswirth takes to the microphone to address the audience and give thanks during the third annual Music Hall Fame in the Red Room of the Upper Peninsula Masonic Center on Saturday. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)
Musician and 2019 Inductee Michael Letts receives his award during the third annual Music Hall Fame in the Red Room of the Upper Peninsula Masonic Center on Saturday. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Music Scene held its third annual Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony honoring local musicians as well as those who write about and give them a place to play Saturday in the Red Room of the Upper Peninsula Masonic Center. Award ceremony organizer Cindy Engle founded the event as a way to honor those who have contributed to local music past and present.

“Every year it improves, every year we have more going on,” Engle said.

Musician and 2019 Inductee Michael Letts said that it’s nice that someone is taking the time to record local music history.

“It’s great to see the appreciation of everything that we do as musicians and mostly the idea that we are actually documenting the music that happens in Marquette; because we’ve had such a great bunch of musicians for so many years up here — there’s a whole tradition of that — it’s really nice there will be a history of that,” Letts said.

Event admission and refreshments, from Cognition Brewing Company, were by monetary donation. This year 17 inductees were added to the Hall of Fame with two Rising Star awards being presented to musician Miss Alyssa and the duo Blanco Suave.

“It’s so gratifying to see that everyone is coming out to support it,” Letts said. “I hope this (event) continues to build recognition and continue to nurture the community.”

During the ceremony, music educator Jan Broderson, from Marquette Area Public Schools, was presented with her award by a former student Jacob Laitinen.

“For a little Marquette girl that started teaching in western Kansas and made it back home, I am really glad I’m here in a community that supports the arts in so many ways,” Broderson said.

The evening was filled with musical performances by Iron Daisy, Jeff Hauswirth, Sweet Pete and the Big Creek Boogaloo, Gerko and The Maynards. Honorees who were not able to be at the event in person were able to submit a video to give thanks.

The Mining Journal’s own Renee Prusi was honored with a Music Mafia award at the ceremony for her efforts in reporting on the local music scene for more than three decades. In her acceptance speech, she gave thanks to area musicians.

“I bless you for dealing with crappy roads, and low pay, and other obstacles to bring music to this sometimes isolated part of the world,” she said. “To me, music is magic and you are all fantastic magicians.”

Among the MAMHOF inductees were Alan “Goofus” Ammesmaki who passed away in March 2018 and was known for spirited street performances with his homemade polka-cello; Jim Bellmore, multi-instrumentalist and bassist for Da Yoopers and Fried Chinese Donalds; singer, songwriter Dave Berry; Jan Broderson, a music educator from Marquette Area Public Schools; Mike Hauswirth, a guitarist and songwriter for such groups as Hozz, Iron Daisy, and Uncle Ugly; Michael Letts, a guitarist, singer and songwriter with the Flat Broke Blues Band; Dr. Matt Ludwig, a music educator at Marquette Area Public Schools; Renee Prusi, a member of the “Music Mafia” and entertainment reporter for The Mining Journal; Pierre Ogea, entertainer and founder of Superior Pipes and Drums; Randy Seppala, percussionist for Harp, Hart and Bones; Mark “Sycamore” Smith; and James Supanich, an audio engineer, producer and guitarist with Sombrero Sound.