Long Island is home to some amazing musicians, and in support of a good cause and in a showing of human compassion, many of them performed recently at a fundraiser for the Japanese Red Cross supported by the Lindy-based Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts.
Myriad musicians took the stage at the Performing Arts Center in Lindenhurst Sunday, lending their time and talents to raise much-needed funds for the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.
The Long Island Musicians for Japan Relief benefit concert was spearheaded, and organized, by Susan Cohen. A musician herself and member of the Grand Folk Railroad band, Cohen came up with the idea and quickly gained the support of many Long Island musicians via word of mouth and Facebook postings.
BACCA helped make this fundraiser a reality by donating its space and sound systems to facilitate the concert.
“We were very happy to help with this important cause,” said Shawn Cullinane, president of the board of directors for BACCA. He’s also the village administrator for the .
Approximately 100 people came out to the Arts Center for the afternoon of music, and $1,900 was raised, Cohen reported. All proceeds are being donated to the Japanese Red Cross to aid in the relief efforts.
The musical line-up was sizeable:
· Rough Folk (Hank Stone, Todd Evans and Mike Christian)
· Tom Ryan
· Gene Casey
· Grand Folk Railroad (Susan Cohen, Mike Christian, Frank Doris and Bill Resvanis)
· Gary Schoenberger
· Ken “The Rocket” Korb
· The Kerry Kearney Band
· Trio Angeline (Lora Kendall, Maria Fairchild and Denise Romas)
· Given Human Attributes (Ryan Cullinane and Alexa Marie)
· Steve Adelson
· Cathy Kreger
· Bob Westcott and Sonny Meadows
Every performance was expressive, as the musicians’ obvious passion for this cause came through in each. The Kerry Kearney Band raised the roof with its “Blues-Roots-Delta” set. The group, which has shared stages with musical acts including The Allman Brothers, Dickey Betts, Leon Russell and Mountain, was happy to share in this relief effort.
“Some causes are very important, and you need to have people willing to give their time if it will help,” Kearney said. “I’m glad to be here.”
Korb added, “There’s a lot of overlapping of musical communities here. There are blues, jazz, singer/songwriters, and we’re all linked together for this. We all have to pull together and do what we can to help.”
People who came out to support the concert felt the same way.
“We all have to come together for a cause,” said Cindy Reilly. “And you’ve got to give kudos to these musicians who are willing to donate their time. They put on a great show.”
Another concert-goer, Nan Siegler, added, “Yes, times are hard for people now, but we have roofs over our heads, and much to be grateful for. The victims in Japan need everyone’s help.”
Those who missed the benefit concert, but wish to help in the cause can check out a song that Ryan Cullinane of the Given Human Attributes band wrote and recorded with Alexa Marie and Steve Mecca.
Titled A Little Bit of Everything, the lyrics get to the heart of the tragedy in Japan, and the music video depicts the devastation that ensued: “We all must come together in the end, ’cause together we stand… We all must come together because together we are one.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds from sales of the CD are going to the American Red Cross for Japan relief efforts. It can be found online here.
“We also wish to extend out thanks and appreciation to our event sponsors: audio-technica, the , , the and Korg International,” Cohen added.
As the event flyer read: “There is nothing more important than helping our fellow human beings in times of need, and there is no more universal language than music. In our own way the Long Island Musicians for Japan Relief will do our part to raise much needed funds for this cause.”