Short Bio for Press Releases:
Maria Sebastian has opened for dozens of national acts and has recorded with many of their members. She has earned 12 Buffalo / Nightlife Music Awards, 1 People’s Choice Award, and 1 Buffalo Spree Album of the Year Award for Yellow Envelope, 2009, and in 2012 earned a Global Music Award for her performance on filmmaker Michael Z. Gordon's song "On the Run." She has also had music placed in television and film. She performs regularly in Buffalo and plays select northeast venues as an acoustic singer/songwriter—most recently opening for Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, who has chosen her to continue as an opening act. She has also toured with 10,000 Maniacs as a backing vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and once as an opening act. Maria’s 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.”) Her latest disc, "Truth Gets the Front of the Line" features songs for, or inspired by, figures including Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, Comic Icon Harvey Pekar, Muhammad Ali, and others.
Maria began performing live while in high school on Buffalo's West Side. At seventeen she joined the house band at the former Club Utica -- a renowned country club in its prime. When she wouldn't sleep with the band leader she was told country music probably wasn't for her, but she already knew that. She performed in local bands and as a solo singer/songwriter in her hometown 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, Discovery Channel, and Hoggard Films).
Independently, Maria has recorded four CDs since In From the Cold. Yellow Envelope, is her most eclectic work to date. It won the Buffalo Spree Magazine Best Local Album award for 2009, and the Hudson Valley's Freeman Online says she has a "great record on her hands." Maria began writing some of the songs on the disc while still in high school and put them off while fronting rock bands for the next 18 years because they failed to fit the format of a rock artist. She gathered those songs, as well as pieces from her indie-rock era, and new songs written under the influence of today's best Americana artists, and the result is a mixed genre CD that offers a refreshing variety.
"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, now a mother of two, Maria earned an M.A. in English / Media Studies from the University at Buffalo. She has hosted numerous songwriting workshops and teaches undergraduate English while performing regularly either solo, as a duo, or with her weekend bands. Maria has earned 14 WNY music awards to date, as well as a Global Music Award, and has shared shows with: The Byrds' Roger McGuinn, Richie Havens, Los Lonely Boys, 10,000 Maniacs, The Gin Blossoms, Malcolm Holcombe, Collective Soul, Sarah Harmer, Jackyl, Greg Klyma, The Tea Party, Hothouse Flowers, Jess Klein, Vance Gilbert, Honeymoon Suite, Eddie Money, Missy Higgins, Eric Hutchinson, Pal Shazar, Pilate, and dozens of others. She has recorded with Warner Brothers' Alan Kroll, Adsongs Jingles (Ken Kauffman), Terry Buchwald, The Skeptics, Bass Reeves, Jim Yoemans, and many others, and was part of the Morvels R&B Soul Revue Schoellkopf Singers.
In 2012, Maria joined Buffalo Hall of Fame group Joyryde.
Look for Maria's poetry on her web site. This is her latest favorite pastime, in many ways inspired by the works of her fiance, poet Perry Nicholas.