A Night of Music & Giving Back at The Strand Theater: Hand-N-Hand Benefit for Hurricane Relief Thursday October 19th by Calvin Schwartz Oct 22nd 2017

A Night of Music & Giving Back at The Strand Theater:  Hand-N-Hand Benefit for Hurricane Relief Thursday October 19th   by Calvin Schwartz  Oct 22nd 2017










with Lori Davis & Sheri Gilmore pre-concert

with NJ Discover’s Tara-Jean Vitale, and singer/actress Brianna Eve  in the Green Room


When Lori Davis from The Strand called to let me know about this very special night of music and giving back, I knew I had to be there, to support the community of central Jersey music giving back for Hurricane relief. For me, a personal connection, as I’ve spent some  25 weeks in Puerto Rico in the 80’s and 90’s so there is that closeness and affection. I know about interviewing musicians and doing a story about the night. But I wanted an introspective twist, an explorative commonality which I knew was extent in these very special accomplished musicians. Therefore, no long interviews, but just a quick thought on “what this night (being here) means to you.”  I suspected a theme of “community” because I’ve known for my six years here, that a special musical community exists here in central Jersey. It would be fascinating to see what’s on the mind and in the heart.  

                                                                                                                                                                       Calvin Schwartz   1:11 pm 10-22-17






Sheri Gilmore performing



Sheri Gilmore: “It means a lot to me because everybody is coming together, the musicians, singers, volunteers, to raise money for a very important cause. It’s very important. They need the money for a good cause.”







Doreen Brusca Arminio: “It’s really important to be part of this musical community here in New Jersey, giving back, because we’ve been through the same thing a few years ago and we know what it takes; the whole community helps out and gives their own talents to help.”








Steven Levine (WindMill): “Another night to help Convoy of Hope faith based disaster relief. They are all over the world and I’m happy to support them in any way I can. Another step to getting relief supplies to everybody in need.”






Lori Davis and singer Chris Daniels


Lori Davis (The Strand, event organizer): “This is a very special night for us (me). I thought it was extremely important for us to do something as human beings, to help others in need and I felt it was definitely needed. A thing to do. I tried to come up with a date. We put this together at last minute and had to work around musicians who work on weekends. Every one reached out. I did not have one person say no. We’re all in the same boat. A community of human beings. This is a very important event. I’m very proud of it.”








Amy Levine (Taste the Cakes & Ice Cream, Freehold): “Being here and being involved, it’s a great feeling and love doing it all. I can’t imagine what these people are going through. I wasn’t here for Sandy. I was in Colorado. So, I’ve never been through anything like these hurricanes before. Any support is needed.”







Tony Santoriello (lead singer in band ‘Step Aside’): “Happy to be here tonight for a good cause to raise money for people who lost everything-tragedies seems to be happening more often. Just happy to be here with everyone tonight. I wish there were more benefits like this; to raise money for those people who are victims; that’s when you see the real human beings-when people come out to help people. You see all this bad stuff on the news; Let’s get over it and work together.”







Joe Bonanno: “I feel like everyone needs to help those victims of disasters. That’s the big thing. If everyone felt this way, the world would be a better place. And I’m here to help make it a better place.”








Ed Horne: “There was incredible devastation that happened in our country and in the islands. I have friends in Puerto Rico and they lost everything. This means we have to do what we can to help those who can’t help themselves. If God gives me a gift, it’s my job to use that gift to help as many people as I can.”








Lee Ottman: “Thrilled to be part of this musical community-people are always looking for ways to give back and do something-well this is it. And to be able to do that by performing and by giving back and doing something you really love-it’s the best way.”






Arlan Feiles performing


Arlan Feiles: “I’ve used this word far too much -COMMUNITY- If you were to go to my Facebook page and do those word searches to see what words I use the most, COMMUNITY would be the largest of those. Community on the macro and micro experience. And when we think about communities beyond our own and we start empathizing for people ‘s life experiences that have taken far dramatic worse turns than ours on a daily basis, it’s critical that we take those moments to reflect and to feel for them and not only think and wish them well but to act and participate in the healings and rebuilding and every step of that process because ultimately that is COMMUNITY-we’re members of it and we want to have a healthy happy community so that is why I am here to take action.”



Colossal Street Jam performing


Sal Marra (Colossal Street Jam): “This is awesome. I wish we had more drawing power to bring more people to this because the devastation of those hurricanes is terrible and you watch it and your heart breaks. I’ll always do and the band will always do what we can for people. We do tons of benefits a year and it’s very important especially for the music community because people really do listen and you get to do good things. If everybody thought that way we probably wouldn’t have any wars. This is the least we can do to come together as a community and play. I hope they raise a bunch of money…. We’re going to Puerto Rico-we put this trip together. We go every year…. Their economy needs all the help.”




Eddie Testa on stage


Eddie Testa: “I like the fact that we are all together-helping people-whatever we can do-whether it’s a large or small amount. We’re all doing something that’s positive for a good cause. That’s what we’re here for.”






JT Bowen on stage



JT Bowen: “Blessed and honored to be with these musicians. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a great idea-especially in this area to reach people because five years ago we had Sandy-people still recovering from that.”







Ava Bonanno: “This night means a lot to me. Number one because it’s helping out a lot of people who need relief/aid from the hurricanes. I even have a personal connection to Texas where Harvey hit so hard. I like giving back to the community.”










Eric Greene: “Being here reunites me with this special community of musicians. More importantly, coming together and doing something good and positive for people who so need it.”





with Sheri, Sharon and Doreen pre concert



Sharon Lasher: “Very exciting the effort that is being made because so many people have been affected by hurricanes. We’re so excited to be doing this. We’ve got the greatest Jersey shore musicians- from start to finish giving their time. Convoy of Hope is a wonderful charity. I’m so thrilled to be involved here tonight.”




with amazing Elvis impersonator Richie Santa

Sax player Scott Solomon warming up before show

The Soul Cruisers performing
















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