On Tuesday, December 12, 2023, the Greenlawn Centerport Historical Association hosted the Harborfields High School Jazz Band for a focus session on local hero Samuel Ballton.

Born into slavery in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838, Ballton found his way to freedom three times, finally escaping the South for good with his wife, Rebecca. Arriving in Greenlawn in 1873, Ballton found employment with Alexander Gardiner and was eventually dubbed Greenlawn’s “Pickle King” when he grew and processed more than 1.5 million pickles in a single season.

Harborfields High School Jazz Band Leader Dan Bilawsky, having developed an interest in Ballton’s life, commissioned an original jazz composition about his story and, to learn more about “The Pickle King,” attended a Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in June of 2023. Through discussions with Town of Huntington Historian Robert Hughes at that event came the idea of creating deeper community connections by bringing the jazz band to the GCHA to learn more about local history and, specifically, Ballton.

During the field trip, Hughes spoke to the band and the GCHA created a temporary exhibit complete with photos, memorabilia, and Samuel Ballton’s sword. This visit also served as a part of a larger project for the students—a documentary on “The Pickle King” to be co-produced by the high school’s media journalism students and the jazz band.

“Our plan is to premiere this musical selection at our December concert to tie into the sesquicentennial of Ballton’s arrival in Greenlawn, and then put together a short documentary about ‘The Pickle King’—man and music,” Dan Bilawsky shared.

Hughes and Executive Director Claudia Fortunato-Napolitano were interviewed by the students for this forthcoming production. “The students did a great job, and they were fascinated to hear about Samuel Ballton and his journey in life, from being born a slave to becoming a pioneering figure in Greenlawn,” remarked Fortunato-Napolitano. “At the conclusion of their visit, the band presented our organization with a copy of the score signed by the composer, Jeff Lederer, which is now in the GCHA archives. The jazz band also performed the piece, and it was wonderful!”

The Greenlawn Centerport Historical Association is a non-profit membership organization with a mission to research, collect, record, and preserve artifacts, photographs, fine arts, and ephemera of Greenlawn & Centerport. In addition, they promote the preservation of historic structures and maintain two historic homesteads to provide the public with an opportunity to learn about early life on Long Island.

Pictured from left, Ray Anderson, Kara Hahn and Tom Manuel. Photo courtesy of The Jazz Loft

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Avenue in Stony Brook, presented two local notables with the Jazz Loft Legends in Jazz award on Dec. 2. World-renowned trombonist Ray Anderson and former Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn were both honored by Jazz Loft founder and president Tom Manuel.

The annual Legend in Jazz Award seeks to recognize individuals who have contributed to the art form of Jazz in a deep and meaningful way. The recipients have invested profoundly into the soundtrack of our society and culture and have used the power of music to speak to people’s heart and souls. 

Ray Anderson, who is Distinguished Toll Professor at Stony Brook University, has distinguished himself as a preeminent jazz trombone player who has received international acclaim. Formerly the Director of Jazz Studies at Stony Brook University, Anderson maintains a thriving performance and recording career that has spanned more than three decades. He is a co-founder board of The Jazz Loft and currently serves as vice president.

“I am so grateful to have received this wonderful award from the Jazz Loft,” Anderson said. “And my gratitude extends to all the many people on Long Island and elsewhere, who have supported the abundant performance, education, and preservation that this amazing non-profit institution provides.”

“Ray Anderson has graced the latter 20th century as one of the most innovative and creative voices in Jazz, has gifted us with an incredible body of creative and ingenious musical compositions, and has left a lasting mark as an educator of note,” said Manuel. “We’re beyond honored to have him serve as the Vice President of The Jazz Loft and to have him involved in so many music projects and education workshops and clinics throughout each season at TJL.  The world is absolutely a happier and more spirited place because of Ray!”

Kara Hahn, a former Suffolk County Legislator, is currently New York State Parks deputy regional director for the Long Island region. Hahn entered the county Legislature in 2012 and could not pursue reelection because of 12-year term limits for legislators. During her time as legislator for the 5th District, Hahn was incredibly supportive of The Jazz Loft and its mission to bring live music to the community. 

“Everything is better with great live music!” Hahn said. “Live music brings people together. Music heals people, it hears you, it sees you, it expresses for you what you wish you were articulate enough to say! Music, especially jazz music, soothes our souls and inspires us and energizes us. Houses of music like the wonderful Jazz Loft do the same for communities, and that is why we are so lucky to have Tom Manuel and the Jazz Loft here in our hometown, and I am incredibly honored to be recognized in this way.”

Manuel said “Kara Hahn is akin to our Jazz legends like Norman Granz, Leonard Feather and Nat Hentoff. These folks were stalwart advocates for the American born art form of Jazz and they championed both artists and organizations that today are household names. Jazz has always been a music of what’s ‘new’ and ‘new’ needs friends. Kara has supported the Jazz Loft from day one and through her support TJL now has an annual Swing Into Spring Festival that brings Jazz all throughout our community– to restaurants, businesses and more. She also helped create our outdoor series called Summer SWAP (Stage With A Purpose) that helps bring free concerts to our community and has continued on thanks to sponsorship from Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine. We are so grateful for Kara’s commitment, drive, and dedication to her community. She is without question a gift to us all.”

Past recipients of the Legends in Jazz Award have been bass player Bill Crow and guitarist Gene Bertoncini.

For more information about The Jazz Loft visit

From left to right: Department of Music Chair Christina (Tina) Dahl, Dr. Brian Margolis, Dr. Rachel Bergeson, scholarship recipient Owen Dodds and Katherine and Bob Bayer (Photo courtesy of Stony Brook Advancement)

By Christine McGrath/ Stony Brook News

When Drs. Rachel Bergeson and Brian Margolis became friends with new neighbors Katherine and Bob Bayer, they had no idea they would participate in a tradition spanning 40 years. Rachel and Brian began attending frequent in-house recitals in the Bayers’ home in St. James, where Stony Brook Department of Music graduate students put their talents on display. The Bayers’ special showcase of Stony Brook talent eventually inspired Drs. Bergeson and Margolis to recognize the impact their friends have had on generations of Stony Brook musicians by establishing an endowed scholarship in the Bayers’ name.

The Katherine and Bob Bayer Endowed Scholarship will now be available to graduate students in the Department of Music, with a focus on those studying piano or string instruments. With this scholarship, these close friends will add their impact to the generous way the Bayers have left their imprint on the Department of Music over the years through those recitals.

Rachel and Katherine have strong ties to Stony Brook: Rachel has spent 40 years working as director of the university’s Student Health Services, while Katherine graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a music degree. So, what led to this nearly lifelong connection, and how did this scholarship come to be?

Supporting Students Through Music Concerts

While Katherine studied at Juilliard’s Preparatory Division as a young child, it was not until many years later that she completed her undergraduate degree in music. After she earned her associate degree after high school, she and Bob got married and had a child. Katherine then began working office jobs and helping Bob with his business. Several years later, she decided that she would love to go back to school. “I enrolled in a part-time bachelor’s degree program in music at Stony Brook. It took me five years to graduate!” she said. Each semester, she was required to take lessons with graduate students. “I learned so much from them and how much pressure they were under to prepare for their recitals at the Staller Center,” she said. “They didn’t have many opportunities to prepare.”

Wanting to give back to the Stony Brook Department of Music after she graduated, Katherine asked Bob if he would be open to hosting concerts in their own home, and he was completely on board. “I wanted to give graduate students an opportunity to play through their programs prior to their recital — a sort of practice performance,” said Katherine.

The in-house recitals started small, with just a few neighbors, including Rachel and Brian, attending, and they have grown to about 30 attendees. The couple hosts up to 10 concerts a year, and at the beginning of the fall semester, Katherine will send a letter to Stony Brook’s music department inviting piano and string students to play. “Usually, within minutes, we get a bunch of bios from the musicians,” said Bob. They sort through the bios and choose students based on availability and the music they will play. Those who play piano can perform on the couple’s restored 1876 Steinway concert grand piano.

The Bayers' restored 1876 Steinway concert grand piano.
The Bayers’ restored 1876 Steinway concert grand piano. (Photo courtesy of Katherine and Bob Bayer)

An Invitation Leads to a Scholarship

Rachel said she and Brian have been attending concerts for years. “We are privileged to have been part of this unique audience at their home for such a long time,” she said. In fact, a discussion at one of these performances is what led them to create their scholarship. “We heard there was little funding for the music department and that they were losing interested students to other institutions that provided scholarships,” Rachel said. “We decided to name it after Bob and Katherine simply because of their generosity and spirit that’s always been out there.”

The Bayers were honored and thrilled for the support when they received the news. “We were shocked! It was so generous of them to do this to support graduate students,” said Katherine.

Students perform an in-house recital at the home of Katherine and Bob Bayer.
Students perform an in-house recital at the home of Katherine and Bob Bayer. (Photo courtesy of Katherine and Bob Bayer)

True Music Appreciation

Both couples’ love of music runs beyond the concerts at the Bayers’ home. They often enjoy shows together at the Staller Center. Bob has loved seeing the Emerson String Quartet perform over the years, while some of Katherine’s favorite memories are seeing the recitals of the students who performed in their home. Rachel said she and her husband enjoy the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra shows. “Brian and I grew up with classical music. My mother was an organist, and I sang in the Messiah choir in college,” said Rachel. “Music has always been something that I’ve enjoyed.”

Both couples met the first scholarship recipient, Owen Dodds, who is working on getting his doctorate in music, earlier this year. “Owen is just delightful,” said Rachel. After receiving the scholarship, he performed his recital in the Bayers’ home — on the restored 1876 Steinway piano. “We were very impressed with him,” said Katherine. “He gave a beautiful performance.”

Owen, who not only performs classical music but also composes it, said the scholarship is helping to pay for his tuition. “I’m incredibly grateful for the support from Rachel and Brian,” he said. “It really makes it possible for me to do what I’m doing.” He added that he can’t wait to perform again at the Bayers’ home. “It was such a wonderful experience, and I hope to keep playing there even after I graduate.”

From left to right: Department of Music Chair Christina (Tina) Dahl, Dr. Brian Margolis, Dr. Rachel Bergeson, scholarship recipient Owen Dodds and Katherine and Bob Bayer
From left to right: Department of Music Chair Christina (Tina) Dahl, Dr. Brian Margolis, Dr. Rachel Bergeson, scholarship recipient Owen Dodds and Katherine and Bob Bayer (Photo courtesy of Stony Brook Advancement)

Inspiring Music

The Stony Brook Department of Music is able to attract talented students due to its extraordinary faculty, including Gilbert Kalish, leading professor of piano and head of performance activities, and Department of Music Chair Christina (Tina) Dahl. “Our graduate students go on to have successful music careers — we’ve had quite a few students win a Fulbright,” Tina said. “Stony Brook has a great history of placing music students in good academic jobs. Some graduates joined music faculties at Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music and Yale.”

Tina is grateful to have performed at the Bayers’ home herself as a music student, saying, “We recruit some of the most talented artists to Stony Brook because of student scholarships. Scholarship support not only allows the students to pursue their musical aspirations but also allows the music department to continue growing into a thriving musical community.”

Once students start studying music, being around other musicians is important. “Stony Brook is great because Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) students are all around you,” Owen said. “Being in the music community is so important to growing personally and professionally. We inspire each other.”

Rachel said she and Brian truly believe in the importance of music and the arts in the community. The couple is already considering supporting another scholarship or a Staller Center award in the future.

Participants from last year's concert. Photo from Daniel Kerr/All Souls Church

Historic All Souls Church, 61 Main Street, Stony Brook invites the community to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as it joins with eleven other faith communities to present its annual Lessons and Carols Christmas concert on Saturday, December 9 at 6 p.m.  

Heidi Schneider will be the featured soloist this year.

The free concert will feature Stony Brook University soprano Heidi Schneider and tell the story of the Nativity in scripture and song.  Heidi’s solos will include “Ave Maria,” “Silent Night,” and “Away in the Manger.” 

Local guitarist Bill Clark and his Brave Trio will also perform “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “Hallelujah,” and “What Child Is This?”All attending will be invited to sing “Come All Ye Faithful” and “Hark the Herald Angels” as All Souls organist Dan Kinney plays the church’s 1855 Tracker Organ.

The readings will be done by clergy and lay people from The Stony Brook School, Caroline Church, Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, Messiah Lutheran Church, St. Gerard Majella RC Church, Stony Brook Community Church, the Three Village Church, Religious Society of Friends in St. James, the Little Church of Smithtown Landing, St. James RC Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook.

There will be a 15-minute intermission and refreshments will be served. All Souls Church collects food each week to feed the hungry at the St Gerard Majella’s food pantry. Please bring a can of food to donate (“Lend a hand, bring a can”). 

Please call 631-655-7798 for more information.

One of the items on display at the new exhibit. Photo by Tara Mae

By Tara Mae

Music is often a meander through memory; it enraptures listeners with emotional remembrance and resonance. Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame’s (LIMEHOF) newest exhibit, Billy Joel, My Life — A Piano Man’s Journey, is a nuanced trip through time and tempo so intuitively evocative that it seemed to stun the piano man himself.

Billy Joel visited the LIMEHOF to view the new exhibit on Nov. 21. Photo by Tara Mae/TBR News Media

“It is a little intimidating,” Billy Joel said to a gathering of press, LIMEHOF board members, and other inductees, at the exhibit preview on Tuesday, Nov. 21. LIMEHOF Chairman Ernie Canadeo, Exhibit Designer Kevin O’Callaghan, and radio personality Bob Buchmann also spoke, remarking on Joel’s legacy and ongoing accomplishments. 

A retrospective revealed through multimedia, My Life spans more than 50 years of the Grammy Award winning artist’s life and career, beginning with his childhood on Long Island through his current residency at Madison Square Garden. With no announced end date, the show, on display now, is an audio-visual sensation. 

Featuring photos, video installations, personal memorabilia, artifacts, and, of course, music, the exhibit includes everything from Joel’s primary school class photo to set lists, instruments, a motorcycle, his MTV Video Music Awards, and many other personal paraphernalia.

“It was incredibly rewarding to watch Billy’s eyes as he was walking around the exhibit, saying, ‘Where did you guys get all of this stuff? It’s unbelievable,’” Canadeo said.

All the items, many from Joel’s personal collection, are notes in the score that comprise the soundtrack of his life. Visitors may enjoy their own theme songs as a jukebox offering Joel’s repertoire helps set the mood, and the piano he played on tour with Elton John rotates on a moving stage. Behind it, on a giant screen, footage plays of him performing at Shea Stadium. 

Providing a multi-tonal presentation of Joel’s evolution from struggling songman to undeniable superstardom, My Life is a multi-sensory experience. The exhibit is a comprehensive homage to Joel’s past, present, and passions. It embodies both the personal and professional elements of his life.

One of the items on display at the new exhibit. Photo by tara Mae/TBR. News Media

“People are going to be emotional and very impressed with what we have collected because they have not seen most of what we have here,” Canadeo added. “It really does represent Billy’s journey: from his humble beginning [on Long Island] to becoming one of the biggest music stars in the world. And, we cover pretty much every aspect of that, all the way through.”

Throughout this trajectory, Long Island arguably serves at both opening act and supporting player. “The show is not only a tribute to Billy, but it is a tribute to Billy’s relationship with Long Island,” Canadeo said. 

Tracing the development of the musician and the man, My Life chronicles different facets of Joel’s story: childhood in Hicksville; teenage keyboardist for the rock group The Hassles; working musician; motorcycle aficionado; and, world renowned artist with many multiplatinum albums to his name. 

This is the first time Joel has agreed to an exhibit of this nature. “We found that he had never agreed to doing an exhibition, ever. And so that was really the big conflict I had; the mission I had was to convince him to let us to do this. And the way I did it was the realization of his loyalty to his friends,” O’Callaghan said. “He is a very loyal guy. So, the show, if you look around, it is about his influences, people who influenced him and vice versa.”

Composed by music lovers for music lovers in honor of an internationally recognized music lover, the exhibit is tribute to more than Billy Joel; it is a communal celebration. Artist, exhibit architects, and audience share one fundamental trait: they are all fans. 

The exhibit lauds this musical reverence. A revelatory reflection on the sustenance for the soul music provides, My Life explores the scope of its impact. As patrons walk in, they are first greeted by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, a pivotal moment for the development of the modern music scene and Joel’s own artistic awakening. 

Other artists are represented as part of Joel’s musical development and devotion.  

“It is not only Billy Joel, we have on display Otis Redding, we have Paul McCartney, we have George Gershwin. [Joel] loved that idea of showcasing his influences and musical friends.  And, he actually said to me, ‘So, it is going to be a party with my friends,’ and I said, ‘It is going to be a party with your friends.’ And that’s what kind of sold him on it,” O’Callaghan added. 

That sense of camaraderie creates kinship between artist and appreciators as it permeates the exhibit’s atmosphere. Such a symphony of synchronicity is a symbiotic relationship that unites all participants in their mutual musical dedication. Bonds born of these shared interests are key components of My Life, incorporating both the keepsakes themselves and honoring those who treasure them.

Among the items donated by Joel are mementos lent by two of his biggest supporters, Eric Fellen and Paul Fierro. “They found us and were very generous and really this would not have happened without their help. It would have been a much, much softer show; we went over the top with what they had,” O’Callaghan said. 

Such enthusiasm underscores every aspect of My Life. Common appreciation for Joel encapsulates what the artist enjoys as well as the ways he is able to continue connecting with his listeners. 

“I love music…most people do, and I am very glad that we all ended up loving the same thing,” Joel said at the exhibit’s reception. 

Located at 97 Main Street, Stony Brook, LIMEHOF is open Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $35 for adults; $32.50 for seniors/veterans; and, $20 for students age 13+. For more information, call 631-689-5888 or visit 

Three Harborfields High School students Jackson Ferrara (trombone, HS Instrumental Jazz), Peter Hoss (tenor saxophone, HS Instrumental Jazz) and Hartley Semmes (trumpet, HS Instrumental Jazz) are selected for SCMEA All-County Jazz ensembles. Photo courtesy HCSD

Three Harborfields High School students have been selected for SCMEA All-County Jazz ensembles: Jackson Ferrara (trombone, HS Instrumental Jazz), Peter Hoss (tenor saxophone, HS Instrumental Jazz) and Hartley Semmes (trumpet, HS Instrumental Jazz).

An extremely select band, the SCMEA All-County HS Instrumental Jazz group requires an audition for acceptance. Fewer than 20 students in grades 10-12 from across Suffolk are chosen to participate. 

“These young musicians are extremely dedicated to their pursuit of excellence in this area,” Harborfields High School Jazz Band director Dan Bilawsky said. “Their selection is a well-deserved reward for their high-level commitment and hard work.”

The Jazz Loft. Photo by Heidi Sutton

Everyone knows that iconic bass riff at the beginning of the hit song “Stand by Me.” That’s the musical imprint of the late bassist Lloyd Trotman (May 25, 1923 – October 3, 2007) who was the house sideman for Atlantic Records. Trotman played with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and on many notable hits, including “Yakety Yak,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” and Dinah Washington’s “What Diff’rence A Day Makes.” 

Lloyd Trotman

On November 3, The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook will join with the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame to posthumously present Lloyd Trotman with the Sideman Award. The award ceremony will take place at intermission of the 7 p.m. Santi Debriano Septet show — Santi Debriano (Bass); Mamiko Watanabe (piano); Ray Scro (Bari); Andrea Brachfeld (flute); Tommy Morimoto (tenor); Joaquin Pozo (percussion);and Willie Martinez (drums) — which is part of the Jazz Loft’s Lloyd Trotman Bassist Series. At that time, members of the LIMEHoF Board and will induct Trotman, who was a Huntington resident, into the LIMEHoF. 

 “As a long-time friend and admirer of Lloyd Trotman, it’s very poignant to be honoring him with this award,” said Jazz Loft Founder Tom Manuel. “Side musicians are not always given the credit they deserve, and it pleases me to see Lloyd’s talent and signature sound be appreciated. It’s also a thrill to be working together with our neighbor the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall to honor a legendary Jazz musician.”

”The Long Island Music and Entertainment’s mission is to celebrate the rich music and entertainment heritage of Long Island and support music and arts education for future generations,” said Jeffrey James, Board member of LIMEHoF. “That’s why we’re delighted to present a Sideman Award to Lloyd Trotman. In doing so, we’re celebrating his remarkable career of working with a who’s who of musicians and entertainers and helping to preserve his legacy for many years to come.”

The Jazz Loft’s Lloyd Trotman Bassist Series is sponsored through a gift from Trotman’s daughter, Linda, who sponsors the new concert series in honor of her late father. The series presents bassists of note at the Jazz Loft. Ms. Trotman will be accepting the award on behalf of her father. 

“I am so thankful that my father is being recognized with this award,” she said. “I know he is still here with me and I wish he could accept the award himself. I am honored be the one to accept it in his place as I honor his 100th birthday.” (Trotman would have been 100 this year.)

Ms. Trotman has established a website in honor of her father, who she calls the “Sideman to the Stars.” Visit to learn more.

The Trotman funding is matched with the Robert Lion David Gardiner Foundation’s donation of $5,000, along with additionally pledged funds thanks to long standing Jazz Loft donors Dan Oliveri and Michael Ardolino of Realty Connect USA.

For more information and for tickets visit


The Emerson String Quartet performed its final concert at the Staller Center for the Arts to a packed house on October 14, signaling the end of the quartet’s nearly 25-year-long history as Artists in Residence at Stony Brook University. They were rewarded with four standing ovations from the sold-out 1,000-member audience.

The program featured Beethoven String Quartet in Bb Major and Schubert String Quintet in C Major. Special guest and former Emerson cellist David Finckel joined the ensemble — including cellist Paul Watkins, Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer on violin, and Larry Dutton on viola — for the Schubert piece.

Following the concert, a reception for the group and honored guests was held in the Zuccaire Gallery, with remarks from Stony Brook President Maurie McInnis; Alan Inkles, director of the Staller Center for the Arts; former Provost Robert McGrath; Gilbert Kalish, professor in the Department of Music; Judith Lochhead, professor and former chair of the Department of Music; and Christina Dahl, chair of the Department of Music.

McGrath, Kalish and Lochhead, along with former Stony Brook President Shirley Strum Kenny, were instrumental in bringing the group to campus as Artists in Residence.

Following the remarks, Inkles awarded the group members with trophies in recognition of their years performing as a group in the Staller Center. Despite a busy touring schedule over the past two decades, the group members have always made time to serve on faculty committees and to be available for music students.

Dahl described to the group a recent faculty meeting in which Setzer participated in a faculty meeting on a Sunday evening while he was on tour in Milan, where the time was 12:30 am.

 “T​​hey come to faculty meetings, serve as lecturers and advisors and sit on dissertation committees,” Dahl said. “The rest of the world sits in on their concerts, but one of the most remarkable things about their long association with the department is that they never stood on ceremony, or acted as if they deserve special consideration.”

President McInnis looked toward the future with the group members as they continue to serve as faculty within the Department of Music. 

“Through the Emerson String Quartet Institute in the Department of Music, group members Eugene Drucker, Lawrence Dutton, Philip Setzer and Paul Watkins, along with the quartet’s ex-cellist, David Finckel, will remain at Stony Brook to coach and mentor student string quartets,” she said.

President McInnis continued, “It was such an honor to be in the audience to celebrate the Emerson String Quartet’s nearly 22-year-long history as Artists in Residence at Stony Brook University and the Grand Finale Concert of what has been nearly 100 sold-out concerts held in the Staller Center on our campus. While it is bittersweet to join together for the final farewell Staller Center concert for the Quartet, we are grateful they will remain as colleagues in Stony Brook’s Department of Music where they will uphold their legacy, sharing their gifts with our students in the Emerson String Quartet Institute.”

By Rita J. Egan

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame board and staff members are in a Billy Joel state of mind.

At a press conference on Oct. 20, Ernie Canadeo, LIMEHOF chairman, announced that the venue’s upcoming exhibit, Billy Joel — My Life, A Piano Man’s Journey, will open at the museum in Stony Brook Village on Nov. 24.

“It’s so appropriate that it’s located here on Long Island, where Billy has spent most of his life and created much of his incredible music,” Canadeo said. “It is also appropriate that it has been created and will be displayed exclusively at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.”

Canadeo said LIMEHOF, which has more than 120 inductees, including Joel, has been planning the first major exhibit dedicated to the singer and songwriter for nearly a year. The museum’s second exhibit since it opened November 2022 will cover Joel’s life from his upbringing in the Levitt home section in Hicksville throughout his more than 50-year music career.

Among the items featured will be awards, memorabilia, behind-the-scenes video, rare audio and video recordings, vintage instruments and photos. Many of the items will be protected with acrylic cases with no doors, and other precautionary steps will be taken.

Canadeo and LIMEHOF exhibit designer Kevin O’Callaghan visited Joel’s storage unit to find items for the exhibit. Among them is about 60 minutes of a recording session audio. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to hear Joel and his band recording a song in the venue’s theater on the second floor.

At the press conference, Canadeo said the nine-foot piano in the room was the one Joel used during the Face to Face Tour with Elton John. Inside, the staff found the musician’s harmonica and a towel.

O’Callaghan, who has worked on more than 150 exhibits during his career, said it was a dream come true for him to work on the project. “This is very close to my heart because I am a Long Islander, and I’m very proud of it,” he said.

The designer added he was nervous when he and Canadeo met with Joel since he heard the entertainer could be tough regarding saying OK to similar projects.

“He usually doesn’t do things that put him on a pedestal, but I explained to him that this would be a party, that we’re going to celebrate your career,” O’Callaghan said.

He added the exhibit will also include tributes to those who were inspired by Joel and those who inspired him, such as Paul McCartney, Ray Charles and Beethoven.

“Anything that Billy felt close to or felt that he was inspired by,” he said.

Billy Joel — My Life, A Piano Man’s Journey exhibit will open on Friday, Nov. 24 at noon at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, 97 Main Street, Stony Brook and run for a limited time. 

The exhibit is being supported and sponsored by Catholic Health, The Billy Joel Foundation, Madison Square Garden Entertainment, Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel, The Haugland Group, M&T Bank, The EGC Group and Lessing’s Hospitality. 

Timed tickets, available at or at the museum, are $35 for adults, $32.50 for seniors and veterans, and $20 for students over 13. VIP tickets are $49. For more information about LIMEHOF, visit

The Jazz Loft

Can it get any better? Seasonal favorites, including Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest, a variety of delicious BBQ selections and an all-star line-up of some of Long Island’s Blues legends all brought to you by the Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Avenue in Stony Brook on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 2 to 5 p.m.

The special event is sponsored in part by Red Kettle ‘Que, a BBQ sauce, marinade and dry rub company from Stony Brook, which will be hosting a traditional Tennessee style BBQ.  The menu includes pulled pork sliders, BBQ chicken–all prepared with Red Kettle ‘Que’s signature products, along with other traditional Southern side dishes along with select seasonal favorite craft beers from local breweries and brew makers, and entertainment by the Willie Steele Quintet

.“We are so excited to be offering some unique events at the Jazz Loft that include not just great music, but an opportunity to explore some great craft beers and food, as well,” said Tom Manuel, founder of the Jazz Loft.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at The event will take place indoors at The Jazz Loft due to the rainy forecast.. Should inclement weather impose the event will move indoors.