Short Third-Person Bio for Press Releases: 

Maria Sebastian is most likely known for her versatility. She has opened for dozens of national acts in various genres 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 three Global Music Awards, one for her performance on film producer Michael Z. Gordon's song "On the Run," (Michael wrote the Batman theme song you've been hearing all your life) produced with Nelson Starr (used in the 2015 remake of the film Narc) and most recently for two singles (each) on her 2018 disc "Be" as well as an album award for the disc.

Maria also won a NISOD Master Teacher Award in 2011 through Genesee Community College, and an Adjunct of the Year award at Niagara County Community College (2013), two schools she has taught undergraduate writing and public speaking for. 

She has had music placed in television and film (3 lbs., Discovery Channel, Melrose Place), performs regularly in Buffalo, and has opened 8 times for Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and 3 times for folk favorite Vance Gilbert. In 2011, Maria toured across the US 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.”). 

Maria has produced several tributes in recent years as well selling out shows at MusicalFare's Premier Cabaret Room, West Falls Center for The Arts, as well as Hotel Henry through JazzBuffalo. 

Maria began writing and publishing poetry in 2011 and has since been published in numerous print and online journals including publications in India, Toronto, and most recently, Paris. 

Long(er) Third-Person Bio for Press Releases: 

Maria Sebastian is most likely known for her versatility. She began performing live while in high school on Buffalo's West Side (she played Roxy Hart in Chicago, among other roles). At 17, she joined the house band at the former Club Utica--a renowned country/roots/Americana club in its prime. She later performed in various local rock bands and as a solo singer/songwriter, 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--Melrose Place, (Season 5 episode 18, after opening credits),  lbs; Discovery Channel; M.O.W.E. Productions--Narc (2015), others; and Hoggard Films). 

Independently, Maria has recorded five (soon-to-be six) 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 and Public Speaking winning a NISOD Master Teacher Award in 2011, and an Adjunct of the Year award in 2013. She has hosted songwriting workshops, open mics, and poetry readings, and earned 14 WNY music awards to date, along with 4 Global Music Awards: one for her performance on hit songwriter  Michael Z. Gordon's song "On the Run," produced with Nelson Starr (used in the second Narc movie, 2015), one each for two singles off her 2018 CD, "Be," again produced by Nelson Starr, and the album also won a 2018 Silver Medal Award from the same organization. 

Maria has shared shows with many diverse acts listed in the column at right and is credited on many other recordings by Warner Brothers' Alan Kroll, Adsongs Jingles (Ken Kauffman), Terry Buchwald, The Skeptics, Bass Reeves, Valerian Ruminski, Rich Militello, Michael Z. Gordon, and Jim Yeomans. 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). In the '90s, Maria was involved in Bob James' "War is Over" project for charity as well as singing tracks for local efforts in response to the 9/11 attacks. She performed with her band for the Chip McCarthy and Jonathan Croom benefit (two firefighters who were lost in 2009, inspiring her song "Let Her Go"). 

Maria also has a lounge trio with Grizanti and Ron Davis (sometimes with David "The Waz" Wasik on drums) playing shows in the Buffalo area, she has a tribute band currently booked (and booking) shows in Buffalo and Rochester celebrating the music of Patsy Cline, Anne Murray, and Roseanne Cash. That show has sold out performances at MusicalFare's Premier Cabaret Room and the West Falls Center for The Arts as well as nearly selling out at Hotel Henry and Sportsmen's Tavern. Maria joined long-time area weekend band Only Humen in 2020 and began playing solo again on a regular basis.

Maria began writing poetry in 2011 and has since been published in multiple literary journals including publications in Toronto, Paris, and India. Maria hosted The Screening Room Third Wednesday Poetry and Music Series for one year, through June 2018, has published two co-authored poetry books,  and one book featuring her own poetry, The Stoppies. For two recent years, Maria was co-host of the Lewiston Arts Cafe Poetry and Music Series sponsored by Just Buffalo and the Lewiston Council on the Arts. 

Quick-View Bio / Award Info:

Has Opened for, Performed With, or Toured With the Following:

  • Roger McGuinn
  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • Richie Havens (Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans)
  • Sarah Harmer (Thursday at the Square, 2005)
  • The Gin Blossoms (Gateway Harbor, 2003)
  • Jay Leno (With Joyryde / Seneca Niagara Casino)
  • Patti Rothberg (Arts Society of Kingston)
  • Los Lonely Boys (Rochester Lilac Festival)
  • Eric Hutchinson (The Tralf)
  • Hothouse Flowers (Thursday at the Square)
  • Missy Higgins (The Tralf)
  • Chris Wilson (Rochester, Little Cafe)
  • Malcolm Holcombe (Bull Run, Shirley Mass.)
  • Jess Klein (Buffalo Friends of Folk Music)
  • Vance Gilbert (Cafe Veritas / Rochester, and BFFM)
  • Collective Soul (Impaxx)
  • Honeymoon Suite (Impaxx)
  • The Tea Party (Angola on the Lake)
  • Jackyl (Angola on the Lake)
  • Greg Klyma (Various)
  • Davey O. (Various)
  • Jeffrey Pepper Rogers and Wendy Ramsey (Tango Cafe, Rochester)
  • David Ray (Groovin' in New Fairfield, Connecticut)
  • Matt Dorrien (Cold Springs, NY)
  • Pal Shazar (Colony Cafe, Woodstock, NY)
  • Eddie Money (Thursday at the Square)
  • Gary Mallaber (Various)
  • Jack Sherman (Various)
  • Trent Stroh (Various)
  • The Kennedys


2009 - Buffalo Spree Magazine's Best of WNY for Yellow Envelope.

Buffalo Music Award: (Paused as Organization in 2010)
1993 - New Band -- Accent
1994 - Rock Band -- Accent
1995 - Female Rock Vocalist -- Sudden Urge
1996 - Female Rock Vocalist -- Sudden Urge
1996 - Rock Band -- Sudden Urge
1997 - Rock Band -- Sudden Urge
2003 - Solo Artist
2004 - Female Rock Vocalist -- Buffalo Rising
2008 - Original Acoustic Solo
2009 - Original Acoustic Solo
2010 - Original Acoustic Solo

Nightlife Music Award:
2010 - Original Acoustic Solo

2019 - JazzBuffalo Music Award Triple Category Nominee (Singer, Duo, Memorable Performance).

Western New York's People's Choice Award (Organized in 2004 Only):
2004 - Top Solo Artist


Global Music Awards:

2012 - For Singing Michael Z. Gordon's Song, "On the Run," Produced by Nelson Starr.

2016 - (September) For Title Track of  Forthcoming CD "Be," Produced by Nelson Starr.

2016 - (December)  For Second Single off "Be" Called "I Do," Produced by Nelson Starr.

2018 - (March) For Album "Be" (Silver Medal Award), Produced by Nelson Starr.

Winner: 2011 NISOD Master Teacher Award
Submitted by James J. Simon, Associate Dean, Genesee Community College at Medina

Winner: 2013 Niagara County Community College Adjunct of the Year

Poetry Publications

  • Crack the Spine
  • Every Writer Magazine
  • The Buffalo News
  • Willard and Maple
  • The Healing Muse
  • The Writer's Den
  • Ramingo's Porch
  • The Stirling Spoon
  • About Place
  • San Antonio peaceCENTER Press
  • Metonym Literary Journal
  • Lily Poetry Review
  • Mothers Always Write
  • Authorspress, New Delhi
  • White Wall Review
  • Spectrum Literary Journal
  • Owen Wister Review
  • The Menteur
  • The Showbear Family Circus

(See Poetry Page for Links)


Interview, October, 2018 with Alison Pipitone. My episode, dated 11/8, is called, fittingly, "Backward, Upside Down, and Inside Out."

Interview, October, 2018 with Alison Pipitone. My episode, dated 11/8, is called, fittingly, "Backward, Upside Down, and Inside Out."