PAWTUCKET – The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame (RIMHOF) held a press conference on Friday, February 23, announcing its 2018 inductees. The press conference took place in the RIMHOF Museum located at Hope Artiste Village, 999 Main St., Pawtucket. Members of the RIMHOF Board of Directors, several past inductees, and fans and family were on hand for the naming of the eight new inductees who will enter into the Hall of Fame this spring.
The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame’s 2018 inductees are: David Blue, John Chan, Tom Ghent, Lloyd Kaplan, James Montgomery, Paul Murphy, Mike Renzi, as well as LeRoy Bennett, Bob Morrissey and Andrew Polin in the Technical/Lighting category.
It was also announced that this year’s induction ceremonies and concert events will take place on three days – April 26, April 27, and April 29 – and will take place at three locations as RIMHOF celebrates its seventh year of operation.
“During the last six years, the Music Hall of Fame initiative,” says Rick Bellaire, vice chair of RIMHOF, “has provided our state with a great opportunity to not only acknowledge Rhode Island’s musical greats and celebrate their achievements, but has now established an organization whose primary goal is to promote and preserve Rhode Island’s rich musical heritage in all its forms.”
This year’s RIMHOF Jazz inductions will take place on Thursday, April 26, 7:00 p.m., at Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining, 267 Main St., Woonsocket. Being honored on April 26 will be Mike Renzi and John Chan.
On Friday, April 27, at 7:00 p.m., the 2017 RIMHOF Folk and Songwriter inductions will honor Tom Ghent and David Blue and will feature a performance by Tom Ghent and a tribute to David Blue by Hall of Fame Inductees Mark Cutler (Class of 2015) and Bill Harley (Class of 2016.) The event takes place at POP! Emporium of Popular Culture, 219 Park Street, Providence.
Sunday’s April 29 event will include the unveiling of the eight new inductee exhibits followed by the 2018 RIMHOF Blues, Educator, and Sideman Induction Concert honoring James Montgomery, Lloyd Kaplan and Paul Murphy as well as LeRoy Bennett, Bob Morrissey and Andrew Polin in the Technical/Lighting category.
The Unveiling Ceremony for all 2018 RIMHOF Inductee exhibits takes place at 2:00 p.m. in the Hall of Fame itself, located within the Hope Artiste Village complex, 999 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. The Induction concert tales place at The Met at 3:00 p.m. The James Montgomery Band will be performing followed by a Paul Murphy Tribute jam session featuring many past RIMHOF inductees as well as collaborators of Paul over the years.
The 2 p.m. unveiling of the inductee exhibits is free and open to the public; a ticket will be required for entrance to the 3 p.m. concert in The Met.
Robert Billington, Chair of RIMHOF noted, “The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and concerts have become the place to be and be seen at as we continue to showcase the fascinating history of Rhode Island’s musical heroes. The events are a virtual ‘who’s who’ of Rhode Island music history.”
The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, formed in 2011, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating, honoring, and preserving the legacy of Rhode Island musicians, educators and industry professionals who have made significant contributions to both the national and Rhode Island music scene. At last year’s induction concert event, the public saw 10 displays unveiled honoring the inductees in the museum space located in the hallways of Hope Artiste Village. This year’s induction ceremony on April 29 will see eight more displays unveiled celebrating the 2018 inductees and bringing the total to 63 inductee exhibits produced in just seven years. Eventually, the museum will hold more than 100 displays as well as assorted Rhode Island music history memorabilia and interactive components for visitors to enjoy.
All proceeds from RIMHOF’s annual induction events go toward creating the museum displays, acquiring recordings and memorabilia, and digitizing that collection for permanent online access for future generations. All organizational work has been donated by members of the Board Of Directors and a staff of volunteers.
On future plans for the Hall of Fame, Rick Bellaire added, “Our Archive Committee continues its work on the core mission, writing biographies and compiling discographies for our inductees and others, and we continue our commitment to honoring those who work behind-the-scenes as well. Simultaneously, new efforts to catalog and preserve the ever-growing collection have begun along with the implemetation of a long-term plan to move the museum and website to the next level with more physical exhibits and interactive features. As we move ahead, RIMHOF is energized by the incredible amount of encouragement and support we’ve received from around the world.”
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