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2023 Recipient of the
Sam Morreale Music Award


Thom Jennings



THOM JENNINGS is a music journalist whose work has appeared in the Niagara Gazette for over 15 years, priding himself on never missing a week since becoming the newspaper's music columnist. Born and raised in Western New York, his love for music began at a young age, while listening to records and attending concerts, he immersed himself in the sounds and stories of his favorite artists.


As a young adult, he sharpened his music knowledge as a local mobile disc jockey, engaging patrons with music trivia and anecdotes. He has a keen ear for the nuances of various genres and is able to convey the emotional power of music in his writing, providing readers with a fresh perspective on the music they love.  One of his strengths is his ability to connect with the musicians he interviews.


He has a unique talent for making artists feel comfortable, leading to insightful and engaging conversations.  These interactions have resulted in numerous memorable interviews with legendary artists such as: Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks, Mark Evans (AC/DC), Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Carlos Santana, Lou Gramm and Mick Jones (Foreigner), Daryl Stuermer (Genesis), Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Geoff Downes, Alan White, Billy Sherwood (Yes) Don Brewer (Grand Funk), Stu Cook and Doug Clifford (CCR), Burton Cummings, Marie Osmond, Tony Orlando, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush (Sugarland), Dave Davies (Kinks), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Joe Satriani, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Tom Scholz (Boston),Kenney Jones (The Who), Dennis DeYoung, James Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman (Styx) Rik Emmett, Mike Levine and Gil Moore (Triumph) Bruce Hall (REO Speedwagon), Alan Parsons, Corey Wells (Three Dog Night) John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson) Greg Lake and Carl Palmer (ELP), Peter Wolf (J Geils Band), Melissa Etheridge, Bun E Carlos (Cheap Trick), Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton (Utopia), Steve Vai, Johnny Winter, Goeff Tate (Queensryche) Richard Williams (Kansas), Robin Trower, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band), Darius Rucker, Ted Nugent, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin (King Crimson) Ann and Nancy Wilson, Tom Johnston (Doobie Brothers), Bill Payne (Little Feat), Bruce Hornsby, Warren Haynes, Eddie Money, Micky Dolenz, Don McLean, John Rzeznik and Robby Takac (Goo Goo Dolls).


Descriptions of his conversations have given music fans deep insights to their favorite artists and their creative processes. Thom’s writing has also appeared in Goldmine Magazine, Niagara Frontier Publications, The Lockport Union Sun & Journal,, Rock Show Critique, and Buffalo Rising, and his work has been widely quoted in press releases from major artists and on their websites.


Thom is also known for his tireless support of the local music scene by attending countless shows and events, always on the lookout for regional talent to showcase in his articles. His advocacy for up-and-coming bands has been instrumental in shaping the greater Niagara music community. We are thrilled to present the 2023 Dr. Sam ‘Saxman’ Morreale Lifetime Music Support Award to Thom Jennings. 

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