Short Third-Person Bio for Press Releases:
Maria Sebastian is mostly known for her versatility. She regularly plays folk, rock ('90s alternative and classic), classic country / Americana, American songbook pop / jazz as well as her own original music, a blend of these. She has opened for dozens of national acts in various genres and has recorded with many of their members, most notably writing, recording, and performing from 1996-2001 with famed Steve Miller Band (others) drummer Gary Mallaber and ex Red Hot Chili Pepper guitarist Jack Sherman. She has earned 18 local (WNY) and international music awards and has had music placed in television and film. Maria performs regularly in Buffalo, and has opened 8 times for Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and 3 times for folk favorite Vance Gilbert, and in 2011, she toured parts of 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 Daily Freeman (“Sebastian has a great record on her hands here.”) She has produced several tributes in recent years as well including her "Cline / Murray / Cash" full-band show playing songs by Patsy Cline, Anne Murray, and Roseanne Cash. This show was nominated by JazzBuffalo as a 2019 highlight after a sold-out show at Hotel Henry. 2020: Maria's new indie rock collaboration with sound engineer and bassist Marc Hunt is now available on Bandcamp and soon available at your favorite distributor. Maria was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2021. Visit mariasebastian.com for more.
Some Press Over the Years
“This clear-voiced singer-songwriter has been on the WNY scene for a while now, and Sebastian’s last release, Yellow Envelope, was Spree’s Best Local Album of 2009. A perfect crystallization of her strengths as a vocalist, lyricist, and crafter of memorable melodies...”
"Opening the (Richie Havens) show was Maria Sebastian, a talented, singer-songwriter with a great sense of humor."
- Dan Herbeck, The Buffalo News
“Her stature as an artist is evident if only by the guests appearing on Yellow Envelope. Review of Songs I Wrote in the Car "I adore Maria Sebastian. As a singer songwriter she is up there with the best. As a live performer she has never failed to entertain me whether in a cover band, solo or with her own band." "Maria Sebastian is one of the area's most accomplished singers. Maybe It's Just Me furthers that claim...This woman sure knows how to sing the heck out of a song!"”
"Sebastian is one of the most talented rising artists in this area."
- Shaun Smith, Artvoice Magazine
“Hard to say what’s most impressive about the latest release from this veteran singer-songwriter: the high production values, the tremendous variety from track to track, or the sheer emotional range of Sebastian’s voice and lyrics.”
"Maria Sebastian and her band opened the show and made it clear that the only thing separating them from the headliners was a contract rider and a tub of beer backstage. Sebastian, like (Sarah) Harmer, is an elegant, emotive singer, and her songwriting is strong as well. The band smoked, kicking Sebastian's gorgeous 'In Our Bed' square in the pants halfway through the arrangement, and subtly extending the melodic and harmonic possibilities during other pieces of the all-too-brief set. Sebastian plays around town regularly, and you should see her."
- Jeff Miers, Buffalo News Music Critic, GUSTO (The Buffalo News) (Jul 07, 2005)
"If Maria Sebastian doesn't soon eclipse Natalie Merchant and any other voice from the Buffalo region, I'll be amazed. Her writing is both spooky and bold, and the sound of her voice will make you leave your comfortable bed and go sleep in the woods. She haunts you like that."
- Filmmaker, Joel Gardner, Son of John Gardner (Author) (Apr 02, 2003)
"Sebastian is one of Buffalo's best-kept secrets. With material as good as this, that ought to change soon."
- Mark Sommer, The Buffalo News
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
- Burns & Kristy (Rochester)
- Bibi Farber (Kingston, NY)
2021 - Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Inductee
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
Nominated: 2021 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching (Winner TBA)