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Harry Chapin tribute 8/27/08

LI Artists Pay Tribute to Harry Chapin on Aug. 27

In these tough economic times, hunger is an even greater problem than usual on Long Island , with local food pantries and soup kitchens running bare. On Wednesday evening, August 27, at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, many talented Long Island musical artists will present a concert and food drive in tribute to the late singer-songwriter, humanitarian and anti-hunger activist Harry Chapin — playing his songs for the cause to which he dedicated himself.

Chapin, who resided in Huntington Bay, was on his way to the park to perform a free concert at the theater one summer night in 1981 when he died in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway. His music and his giving, community spirit, however, have lived on, and the concert venue has been renamed the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre in his honor.

“Twenty-seven years after Harry Chapin’s death, the need to fight hunger is still as urgent as ever,” says Stuart Markus, a LI-based singer-songwriter who has been organizing Harry Chapin tribute concerts on Long Island for five years. Canned goods and other non-perishable food items for distribution to needy Long Islanders will be collected by Long Island Cares, a food bank founded by Chapin in 1980 that has been working to end hunger on Long Island .

More than 3,000 people attended the Eisenhower Park concerts in each of the past three years, according to Markus. He anticipates another good showing this year. Billed as “Just Wild About Harry,” the concert, set for 7:30 p.m., will include 18 covers of Chapin story songs, ranging from classics like “Cat’s In the Cradle,” “Taxi” and “WOLD” to lesser-known numbers like “ Sandy ,” a song he wrote for his wife. In addition to Markus, performers slated to perform include Doc Butler & JC Cob, Folk Fiction, Return to the Dream, Lisa Itts, Josh Joffen, Debra Lynne & Chris Tursi, MediaCrime, Robin Eve, Glen Roethel, Ed Ryan, Christine Solemino, Frank Walker, Kenny Forgione & Wonderous Stories, Judith Zweiman, Joe Iadanza, and members of the Defibrillators & Tornado Alley.

In assigning Chapin songs to the various artists, Markus said he “tried to keep in mind which one would suit each performer’s style, or which would have personal meaning for them. Apart from that, the performers are afforded carte blanche with respect to interpretation. “The results have been some really creative treatments and performances,” adds Markus.

Again, although the August 27 concert is free, guests are encouraged to bring canned goods and other non-perishable food items for distribution to needy Long Islanders through Long Island Cares.

Concertgoers are advised to bring their own lawn chairs or picnic blankets to the park, which is located off Merrick and Stewart Avenues in East Meadow .

One Response

  1. You can see excerpts from last years show at: http://www.b2bvid.net/harry1.html

    The show will be webcast live on 8/27/08 at 7:30 PM at: http://www.b2bvid.com/wpage/harry

    Weather you attend the live event or view it on the internet please give at:

    http://www.licares.org

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