Six acts to represent local sounds at the Eddies, April 14 at Proctors

Six acts have been announced to represent local sounds at the inaugural Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Awards, April 14 at Proctors.

The performers represent the wide range of music found throughout the Capital Region, touching on songwriters, hip-hop artists, worldbeat musicians, blues rockers and party bands.

Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra, Bear Grass, Johnny 2 Phones, New York Players, Wyld Blu and Rich Ortiz will appear at the festivities, which will be hosted by musician/comedian Erin Harkes (nominated for Solo or Duo Performer of the Year—Covers Category).

Torres has led his dynamic award-winning Amsterdam-based Latin Orchestra (nominated for International/World Music Artist of the Year) for almost 40 years, specializing in an original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms such as salsa, merengue, cha-cha, bomba, plena and Latin jazz.

Led by Troy songwriter Katie Hammon, Bear Grass (nominated for Album of the Year and Alt/Indie Artist of the Year) reflects a youth spent in Washington State’s Puget Sound, surrounded by water, nature and the introspective, reflective, but tough sounds of hallowed Pacific Northwest musicians.

Johnny 2 Phones (nominated for Hip Hop/Rap Artist of the Year) is the alias of Troy’s Gabe Woodley, who, at age 20, has already sold out Upstate Concert Hall on the strength of anthemic hits like “Code Red,” “The O” and “Stock.” He’s one to watch.

Self-proclaimed “dance party experts,” New York Players (nominated for Party Cover Band of the Year), are a ten-piece powerhouse with an epic song list focused on weddings, corporate events, galas, fundraisers, nightclubs, concerts and festivals.

With Wyld Blu (nominated for Blues Artist of the Year), guitar-slinging Alana Wyld—2018 and 2019 New York State Capital Region Blues Challenge Solo Artist Winner—serves up driving, high-energy performances that take traditional blues, boogie and blues-rock in a new direction.

North Country songman Rich Ortiz (nominated for Solo or Duo Performer of the Year—Covers Category) is, literally, a one-man band, playing six- and twelve-string guitars, harmonica and pedal bass, and, oh, that voice. He’s opened shows for everyone from Ted Nugent to KC and The Sunshine Band.

Tickets for The Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Awards, $20 advance/$25 door, are available at the Box Office at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady; by phone at 518.346.6204; and online at

The Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Awards are presented byThe Collaborative magazine and Capital Records Live!