Classified gets inducted into Rome Arts Hall of Fame

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Originally assembled in the early 1990’s, the band, Classified was the concept of Freddie Faccioli.  A former organist and vocalist with the legendary group Eric & the Chessmen during the 1960's, Facciolli was also leader of Ascension, the area's premier horn band, throughout most of the 1970’s. In addition to Freddie Faccioli and Greeley Ford from Ascension on bass, the original Classified lineup featured Ascension veteran Pat Putrello on trumpet and providing vocals. While it truly was "getting the band back together," it also featured the top musicians from other groups in the area, such as Larry Desiato, Danny Brisson, Michael DiMeo, Darryl Sleszynski, Freddie Zimmerman, Dinger, Johnny Piazza and later Scott Rutledge. Gary Colmey was added to the original lineup several months later. Their collective resume was so long, it was said that it looked like a "Classified" ad.  Thus, the name was created and so was the mission of the band…. EOE--"equal opportunity entertainment" for all!

Classified was voted number one group in the area by the readers of the Utica Observer Dispatch in their “Readers Choice” poll for two years in a row.  The band has performed with, or shared the bill with, many international artists, including Maynard Ferguson, Benny Mardonis, Rare Earth, Eddie Money, KC & the Sunshine Band, Jason Masalis, Gap Mangione, The Commodores, The Pointer Sisters and Earth, Wind & Fire. The abilities of the members of Classified encompassed all styles of music. An amazingly versatile group, they performed a wide variety of music.  Their founding mission was to represent Utica as best as it could be done.

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Over the years many talented artists played with Classified including Rick Zuccaro and Victor Toco (keyboards); Daryl Hunt, Lenny Milano and Karl Sterling (drums); Joe Ferlo, Stu Heinrich, Kris Heels, and Tommy Hillenbrand (guitars); Johnny Piazza, Jeff Stockham, Dave Blask, Pat Carney, Steve Carney, Tim Fergusen, and Jimmy Demauro (trumpets); Wayne Davison, Rocky Barbado, Bob Cesari, Devin Garramone, Don Williams and John Rohde (saxophones); Jimmy Camardello and Joe Colombo (trombones);  Ronnie Leigh, Ricky Chisolm, Vinnie Esposito, Michelle Rushford and Eddie Riley (vocals).

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