Benefit concert to help research & treat Parkinson’s, ALS, PSP
Kids’ entertainers to rock Crossroads Jan. 7 for Light of Day Foundation
I only had a short time with Mr. Lou DeMartino but learned how passionate he was about supporting the Light of Day Foundation, traveling the U.S., Canada and Europe to give benefit performances with Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan to help combat nervous system disorders that have affected so many people, often claiming their lives. Lou joined the Jungle Gym Jam in the spring of 2015, just 4 short months before another disease, asthma, shockingly took his life.
But Lou has stayed on my mind to this day, and I’m in awe of how much of himself he gave when he had few resources of his own and had to work multiple gigs to make ends meet. So it’s only fitting that I took up the mantle to put on a Light of Day Foundation benefit concert to continue his work.
Years ago there was an annual Light of Day benefit concert for kids & families in Asbury Park, which was later replaced in the seaside city’s venues with a wider variety of rock and pop acts aimed at adult audiences, who generally spend more at the bar than their family counterparts, yielding bigger donations to Light of Day.
I figured the best bet was to put on a family-oriented concert at another NJ music venue during January, the organization’s busy month for benefit concerts – perhaps a venue not in Asbury Park but one known for great NJ concerts. I reached out to Lee at Crossroads in Garwood, where I had participated in a benefit show before.
Jay Lustig, a longtime NJ music critic and now the founder of NJArts.net, led me to an intriguing headline act for this concert – Deena Shoshkes from the new wave duo The Cucumbers, now with her new harmony-rich band The Campfire Flies. I built the supporting lineup from New Jersey’s family music scene – singers and players who have delighted kids and their grown-ups in front of me before, like Miss Nina and Yosi. Yosi has performed in those earlier versions of the Light of Day family concert before – a tradition that was winding down just as I was getting into the kids’ music game.
The show is on Saturday, January 7 at 4PM (doors open at 3:30); admission is $15 person (children under age 1 admitted free) with all proceeds going to the Light of Day Foundation.