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Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame

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Responding to the critical National need for both blood donors and firefighter volunteers, The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF), and the Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO), will be hosting a blood drive, a Shed the Meds event, and  a volunteer firefighter recruitment information table at the LIMEHOF, 197 Main St., Stony Brook Village on Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Joined by State Senator Palumbo, Assemblyman Ed Flood, LIMEHOF and WMHO:

– The New York Blood Center mobile blood collection van will be collecting donations. (Reservations recommended, walk-ins welcome. Call 1-800-933-2566 to make your reservation.) The first 10 student donors will receive a ticket to The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of
Fame (LIMEHOF), courtesy of Stony Brook University.

– Firefighters from the Stony Brook, Centereach, Terryville, and, Stony Brook University Campus will be hosting an information table.

-The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Deputies will be collecting pharmaceuticals.

-Stony Brook University students will be conducting a mental health research survey.

-The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) will be hosting a raffle!

Questions? Call 631-751-2244.

L-R LIMEHOF Educator of Note Recipients Alan Schwartz, Susan Weber, Frank Abel and Kim Löwenborg-Coyne.

Five music teachers from across Long Island were recently honored at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) in Stony Brook in a special ceremony honoring the organizations most recent Educator of Note Award winners.

The teachers honored  include Alan Schwartz (Great Neck, 2023), Frank Abel (Uniondale/Roosevelt, 2022), Kim Löwenborg-Coyne (North Babylon, 2021), Marc Greene (Middle Country School District, 2020), and Susan Weber (Uniondale, 2019).

“It was wonderful,” said Tom Needham, Tom Needham, Second Vice Chair and Educational Programs Director at LIMEHOF. “When you get all these people together in one room and you hear about the number of students they’ve influenced over the years and the impact they’ve had on music education on Long Island. It’s truly incredible. We’re so excited to have this opportunity to have them all here in the room and to celebrate the good things that they’ve accomplished.”

“We all had and have such meaningful careers that have impacted music education in so many different ways,” said Susan Weber. “Bottom line is that we all love seeing the reaction with our students and former students and as time goes on how music education impacts kids and it was just a very special day.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m just so thrilled to be amongst these people here and to have my name with these people, these legends is just one of the biggest honors of my life,” said Alan Schwartz.

“What a wonderful ride… a wonderful journey after 42 years of teaching on this very special day to receive this very special award at the Hall of Fame. We don’t go in teaching for awards but this one right here I’m going to cherish,” said Frank Abel.

Supporting and highlighting musical education and upcoming talent through its education programs is a large part of LIMEHOF’s mission. Each year the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame presents an Educator of Note Award recognizing outstanding achievement in Long Island music education and normally they present the awards publicly during their galas. LIMEHOF has not held an awards Gala since 2019 in large part due to covid restrictions these award winners were unable to receive their awards in a public ceremony, so LIMEHOF organized this special ceremony for them at their Stony Brook Museum location.

LIMEHOF says it’s important to recognize the music teachers who are top in their field and making a difference by building strong educational programs for students to be able to perform and be evaluated.

“We celebrate music history here on Long Island and everybody knows we honor people like Billy Joel and John Coltraine and other artists but sometimes people forget that the people who have the biggest impact on Long Island in terms of music are music teachers,” said Needham. “Music teachers have the ability to reach thousands of kids throughout a career.”

The 2024 Educator of Note nomination process is currently open with a deadline of September 30th. For more information about LIMEHOF’s Educator of Note, scholarships and other music education programs, please visit https://www.limusichalloffame.org/educator-of-note/

About LIMEHOF

Founded in 2004, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical and entertainment heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Island music and entertainment in all its forms. In 2022, LIMEHOF opened its first Hall of Fame building location in Stony Brook, New York. To date, the organization has inducted more than 120 musicians and music industry executives, and offers education programs, scholarships, and awards to Long Island students and educators.

Stephen Schwartz, center, poses with the Broadway talent and LIMEHOF board of directors. Photo by Steve Leung

Broadway came to Long Island recently as a range of vocalists from the “Great White Way” and musicians gathered to honor and induct award-winning Broadway and movie lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Godspell,” “Pippin,” “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Prince of Egypt,” and the new movie adaptation of “Wicked,” among other titles) into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) in Stony Brook on March 23.

The award presentation was preceded by an hour-and-a-half concert emceed by musician Paul Shaffer, which featured performances from Schwartz’ musicals.

Musician Paul Shaffer officially inducts and hands off the award trophy to Steven Schwartz. Photo by Steve Leung

Although well-known on Broadway and Manhattan, Schwartz has solid Long Island roots, having grown up in Williston Park and graduated from Mineola High School. With a career that includes winning four Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and numerous other accolades, Schwartz says that being recognized on Long Island is an extra-special honor for him.

Schwartz joins other legendary Broadway lyricists and musicians inducted into LIMEHOF with ties to Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, including George Gershwin (2006) and George M. Cohan (2006). LIMEHOF currently includes over 120 inductees.

Broadway performers and singers who performed at this event included Teal Wicks and Carrie St. Louis (“Wicked”), Dale Soules (“The Magic Show”), Alysia Velez (“Into the Woods”), Sam Simahk (“Into the Woods”) and DeMarius Copes (“Some Like It Hot”). The concert featured Music from “Wicked,” “Godspell,” “Pippin,” “Working,” “The Magic Show.” and “Pocahontas.” 

In addition to the music performances, Schwartz’s friend Stephen Reinhardt, who was a keyboard player and musical director for “Godspell” and “The Magic Show,” took the stage and gave a heartfelt speech. Sprinkled throughout the concert were various recorded video messages from Schwartz’ friends and colleagues who couldn’t be there but wanted to celebrate his induction, including Idina Menzel, Alan Menken, and Kristin Chenoweth, who had worked with Schwartz before in “Wicked,” and is working with him now on “The Queen of Versailles.”

After being inducted, Stephen closed out the evening by performing a song from his upcoming musical, “The Queen of Versailles,” which is set to debut later this year. 

After the event, Schwartz called it “a lovely evening” and said it was like a big reunion. “All those videos were surprises… from my son and my friends … and it was really a moving evening for me,” Schwartz said. “I didn’t really expect this, so it was very meaningful to me.”

Stephen Schwartz Photo from Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame

Broadway comes to Long Island as  award-winning Broadway and movie lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt, and the new movie adaptation of Wicked among other titles) will be inducted into The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF), 97 Main St., Stony Brook Village on Saturday, March 23 with doors opening at 7 p.m. 

The ceremony will be followed by an hour-and-a-half concert featuring performances from Schwartz’s musicals.

Paul Shaffer

“Long Island has proven to be especially fertile ground for producing major talents in the fields of music and entertainment,” said Schwartz. “The list of names is long and impressive. It’s a great honor for me to be recognized as being a part of that amazing tradition.”

Although well-known on Broadway and NYC, Schwartz has solid Long Island roots having grown up in Williston Park and graduating from Mineola High School.

“It is with great honor and pride that the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame inducts the legendary Stephen Schwartz into our esteemed institution,” said Ernie Canadeo, LIMEHOF Chairman. “With a career spanning over five decades, Schwartz has enriched the world of American musical theatre and the silver screen with timeless classics. We celebrate not only his remarkable talent but also his enduring legacy, which will continue to inspire generations to come.”

The music concert to follow the induction will be emceed by musician Paul Shaffer, with whom he worked early in his career. In 1972, Shaffer was hired as the musical director for the Toronto production of Godspell. He went on to play piano for another Schwartz-written score that played on Broadway, The Magic Show in 1974. Shaffer eventually went on to play in the house band of  “Saturday Night Live,” followed by serving as musical director for David Letterman’s “Late Night” and “Late Show” broadcasts.

After the ceremony, Schwartz and Shaffer will perform alongside musicians from the musical Godspell that include Rick Shutter (drummer), Doug Quinn (guitarist) and Steve Manes (bassist).

Broadway performers and singers who will be performing at this event including Teal Wicks (Wicked) Carrie St. Louise (Wicked), Dale Soules (The Magic Show), Alysia Velez (Into the Woods), Sam Simahk (Into the Woods) and DeMarius Copes (Some Like It Hot). The concert will feature music from Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, Working, The Magic Show, Pocahontas and more!

Tickets for the induction and concert event are $78.50 available for sale at www.limusichalloffame.org or may be purchased in person at LIMEHOF. Tickets include access to all of the museum, including the special Billy Joel exhibition, “My Life: A Piano Man’s Journey,” and Hall Of Fame. For more information, call 631-689-5888.

Steve Matteo discusses his new book ‘Act Naturally, The Beatles on Film’

 Smithtown author Steve Matteo will participate in a Q&A discussion (moderated byTony Traguardo, Fab4Free4All podcast) and book signing event featuring his new book “Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film” at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF), 97 Main Street, Stony Brook on Saturday, September 30 at 2 p.m. The event is free with admission and open to the public.

Author Steve Matteo

“I grew up on Long Island and have written for many Long Island music and entertainment publications,” Matteo said. “I’m thrilled to be interviewed at LIMEHOF about my new book on the Beatles. The hall is all about honoring and celebrating the legacy of great music. When I write my books, chronicling musical history that give music fans a deeper understanding of artists and their times is very important to me. Long Island has a rich history of popular music and music fans on Long Island are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate in the world.”

This unique event bridges the mediums of books, music and film and is likely to appeal to audiences of all genres, not to mention Beatles fans. Copies of the book will be available for purchase to be signed at the event. LIMEHOF plans to do more author themed events in the future.

“We are excited to have Steve come speak at The Hall of Fame about his book “Act Naturally” and share his insights on The Beatles on Film,” said Kelly Leung, LIMEHOF Board Member and Director of Community Outreach who organized the event. “Having Tony Traguedo from the Fab4Free4All podcast moderate and speak is also an added bonus to what is sure to be a fun event.  We continue to welcome opportunities to introduce Long Islanders to local authors and podcasters on a regular basis at the museum.”

For details on this and upcoming events please visit https://www.limusichalloffame.org/museum/

About Act Naturally, the Beatles on Film

The Beatles produced five films during their time together: A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, and Let It Be. Some were cinematic successes, and some were not, but—along with subsequent reissues, bonus material, and Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back, a documentary companion to Let It Be—they comprise an endlessly fascinating document of key phases in the group’s career.

In this comprehensive deep-dive into the band’s movies, author and longtime music journalist Steve Matteo follows the origins, filming, and often frenzied fan reception of projects from the 1964 premiere of A Hard Day’s Night through 1970’s Let It Be to the release of Get Back in 2022. Matteo explores the production process, original theatrical film releases, subsequent VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray releases, and bonus materials, along with the US and UK soundtracks. In addition to copious anecdotes and behind-the-scenes details, he also places these films in their larger context, a period of unprecedented artistic and commercial innovation in British and world cinema. Filled with stories and insights that will satisfy collectors, buffs, and casual fans alike, this is the definitive account of an underappreciated part of the Beatles’ creative output.

About Steve Matteo

Steve Matteo is the author of Let It Be (33 1/3-Bloomsbury) and Dylan (Union Square & Company-Barnes & Noble). He recently contributed to The Beatles in Context, which was published by Cambridge University Press.

He is Contributing Editor with The Vinyl District and has written for such publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York magazine, Time Out New York, Rolling Stone, Spin, Rock’s Backpages, Relix, Goldmine, Interview, Elle, Citizen Truth, Literary Hub and Salon.

He has worked for Pete Townshend of the Who in various capacities for Left Field Services, Towser Tunes and Trinifold. His radio career includes working at WLIR-FM, WNYT and FM Odyssey and he often appears on radio, including on the Sirius XM Volume Channel, Q104, Joe Johnson’s Beatle Brunch, Talk More Talk: A Solo Beatles Videocast, 21st Century Radio, WAAM, WFUV, WUSB, WPPB and WHPC and television in his capacity as a music journalist and an author. He has lectured on Bob Dylan at the New School for Social Research in New York and journalism at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He holds a B.F.A. in Communication Arts from the New York Institute of Technology.

About LIMEHOF

Founded in 2004, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical and entertainment heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Island music and entertainment in all its forms. In 2022 LIMEHOF opened its first Hall of Fame building location in Stony Brook Village. To date, the organization has inducted more than 120 musicians and music industry executives, and also offers education programs and scholarships, and awards to Long Island students and educators. ###

Valley Stream resident and Gin Blossoms’ lead singer and guitarist Robin Wilson was recently inducted into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) at their new Stony Brook museum location.

“There are so many great musicians that are a part of this Hall of Fame and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” Wilson said. “People like Joan Jett, Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Joel and the Stray Cats and Zebra and Twisted Sister so to be part of the same Hall of Fame as all of these great artists just means the world to me, I’m really proud to be inducted.”

Robin Wilson is the singer/songwriter/guitarist for the multi-platinum album selling and Grammy nominated band Gin Blossoms and guest lead singer for The Smithereens. Wilson is the voice powering FM radio staples ‘Til I Hear It from You’, ‘Until I Fall Away’, ‘Hey Jealousy’, ‘Follow You Down’, ‘As Long As It Matters’, Allison Road’ and many more.

A longtime resident of Valley Stream, Robin is very involved in community activities and events. He has done several benefit concerts for the Valley Stream School District PTA and has hosted – on his front lawn- neighborhood live streamed concerts featuring a mix of local young musicians along with established performers such as Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Graham Maby of the Joe Jackson Band and Willie Nile.

When the late Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens passed away in 2017, Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros invited Robin and Marshall Crenshaw to perform with the band moving forward as alternating guest lead singers.

“Robin Wilson’s vocals and many of his songs have powered Gin Blossoms to remain being one of the most important and iconic American bands to come out of the creative diverse and influential 1990’s music scene,” said Norm Prusslin, LIMEHOF Co-founder when introducing Robin on stage during the induction. “Gin Blossoms are only one of a handful of successful bands from that period that have remained relevant 20 plus years on.”

Jim Babjak, Guitarist for the Smithereens spoke to officially induct Robin. On stage, Babjak recounted a story how they first met Robin in 1988 when the Smithereens were touring in Arizona and met him when he was 21 years old working at a local record store.

Gray Wilson, Robin’s son also spoke crediting his father with his own interest in music saying he wants to be a musician like Robin, but he’ll be able to play all the instruments.

After the induction ceremony, Wilson was joined on stage first by his son Gray and percussionist Ryan Wall to rock out an acoustic set of several Gin Blossoms classics. After that Jim Babjak (Guitarist, The Smithereens), Dennis Diken (Drums, The Smithereens), Graham Maby (Bass, The Joe Jackson Band) took the stage along with Robin to perform several Smithereen hits.

There was a large turn-out of local music fans and LIMEHOF inductee Albert Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult) was also in attendance to show his support.

“I am so honored to be in this organization,” Bouchard said. “People say it’s such a sin that Blue Oyster Cult isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t give a damn about that! This is the real deal right here. I mean an organization with John Coltrain, Lewis Armstrong, Run DMC, Billy Joel… all these great people not just rock but everything and that’s what I’m into, not just Rock I like all kinds of music…classical, jazz, even country and rap… I like it all.”

To date LIMEHOF has inducted over 120 musicians from a range of music genres from across Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn and Queens (which LIMEHOF considers geographic Long Island). This latest induction marks the fourth in the new LIMEHOF museum location since it opened last fall. The new building offers LIMEHOF more flexibility in scheduling to induct new artists throughout the year. Wayne Robins, Roger Earl and The Fat Boys were all officially inducted at that location since it opened. LIMEHOF plans to induct and honor new artists including in the entertainment field including actors, comedians and more.

For more information about events and future inductions please visit https://www.limusichalloffame.org/museum/.

From left, Neil Giraldo, Pat Benatar and Taylor Dayne head to the Catholic Health Ampitheater on July 23. Photos courtesy of LIMEHOF

By Tara Mae

Since time immemorial, troubadours have chronicled every aspect of affection and antagonism through song. If love is a battlefield, music is one of the most effective weapons in its arsenal.

On Sunday, July 23, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) celebrates the power of music with “Funtastic 2023,” a benefit concert for the organization featuring Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with special guest Taylor Dayne at the Catholic Health Amphitheater at Bald Hill, 1 Ski Run Lane in Farmingville. The concert kicks off at 7:30 p.m. 

“We are calling it Funtastic 2023 because we want people to have a lot of fun at this concert with powerful, upbeat music that has survived the test of time,” said LIMEHOF Chairman of the Board of Directors Ernie Canadeo.

Benatar and Dayne, who are each on tour this summer, will play full sets spanning the continuing creative arc of their careers. Giraldo, a musician and five time Grammy Award winning producer, will join his wife, Benatar, onstage.  

International artists whose first notes were formed on Long Island, Benatar and Dayne were inducted into the LIMEHOF in 2008 and 2012 respectively. Benatar, a four time Grammy Award winning rock singer/songwriter, is renowned for assertive, commanding hits like “Heartbreaker,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” and “Love is a Battlefield.” 

Three time Grammy Award nominated, American Music Award winning singer/songwriter Dayne, is famous for defiantly danceable pop music, including “Tell It to My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back,” and “With Every Beat of My Heart.”  

These multi-award winning, multiplatinum musical mavens are hometown heroes: Benatar grew up in Lindenhurst and Dayne was raised in Freeport and Baldwin. 

“[The board] worked together to put on a concert utilizing the Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s inductees. From there we selected Benatar and Dayne, a natural fit…they are excellent representatives of Long Island. Canadeo said. “We felt that the LIMEHOF clientele would appreciate their music and artistry.”

LIMEHOF’s mission and membership will be well-represented at the event, with a promotional booth onsite selling its merchandise as well as concert t-shirts and raffle tickets for two house seats to a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Although LIMEHOF has had smaller shows in the past, this is its premiere big benefit concert, with the goal of many encores to follow. 

“I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting future members of LIMEHOF. We hope it becomes an annual event,” Canadeo said.

Just as a performance requires cooperation, Funtastic 2023 is a collaborative exercise both onstage and behind-the scenes. The idea of the concert was born from a conversation between Canadeo and John Caracciolo, who athrough his company JVC Media, operates 16 radio stations and the amphitheater in Farmingville, which is owned by the Town of Brookhaven. 

“I love the venue; it is the largest outdoor venue in Suffolk County, with a terrific sound system, and accommodating seating: people may opt to bring their own chairs to sit on the lawn or take advantage of the stadium seats,” Canadeo said. “…We were discussing how to promote LIMEHOF and the conversation evolved from there.”  

While the arts are seemingly threatened by everything from the advent of Artificial Intelligence to streaming sales that yield cents per play, LIMEHOF lauds the universal language of music and honors fluent local musicians. Founded in 2004, LIMEHOF has honored 120 inductees. It is committed to preserving Long Island’s musical legacy so that it may be appreciated and celebrated now and in the future.

A rolling stone for many years, in 2022 LIMEHOF finally found a permanent home at the Stony Brook Village Center. With the price of admission, visitors to its headquarters may enjoy free concerts or immerse themselves in an interactive exhibition. It houses musical mementos and traditionally hosted awards ceremonies, including the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction through 2018.

Since settling down, LIMEHOF has reportedly exceeded all of its all attendance goals as visitors immerse themselves in exhibits featuring musician memorabilia or a surround sound theater that plays what Canadeo described as “rare music videos.” 

“As a nonprofit, LIMEHOF depends on public support through admissions, donations, and events like [Funtastic] to help us operate and continue to create memorable, exciting experiences,” he said.  

The success of these programs also enables a new duo to make its debut. At the concert, Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Catholic Health, will announce Health and Harmony. This program, a partnership between the healthcare group and LIMEHOF, is designed to support residents’ mental health.   

“People can listen to a select playlist that matches their mood; it is a multifaceted program that incorporates a vision to improve the wellbeing of Long Islanders through the power of music,” Canadeo explained.

During Funtastic, the message of music as sustainable sustenance for the soul is both a refrain and supporting act for Benatar, Giraldo, and Dayne. 

“[This] is a wonderful opportunity for all Long Islanders to enjoy a terrific concert in a wonderful venue and support the Hall of Fame’s mission of keeping Long Island’s music heritage alive,” said Canadeo.

Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets, which range from $52.65 to $106.65 (including fees), are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information about this event and LIMEHOF, visit www.limusichalloffame.org.

(L-R) LIMEHOF 2023 music scholarship winners Jacob Leshnower (Half Hollow High School East High School), Alexis Pabebianco (Mineola High School) Chris Hummel (Harborfields High School), Coleman Schubert (Babylon, Babylon Jr-Sr. High School) and Luca Alexandru (Syosset High School).

For the first time since opening the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) Museum in Stony Brook last fall, LIMEHOF recently awarded its annual music scholarships to five graduating students from across LongIsland in a special ceremony held in the main exhibit hall.

This year’s Distinction in Music scholarship winners include Chris Hummel (Centerport, Harborfields High School), Jacob Leshnower (Dix Hills, Half Hollow High School East High School), Alexis Pabebianco (Williston Park, Mineola High School), Luca Alexandru (Syosset, Syosset High School) and winning the Pat DeRosa Scholarship was Coleman Schubert (Babylon, Babylon Jr-Sr. High School). The Pat DeRosa Memorial Scholarship was created to honor the memory of LIMEOHF inductee Pat DeRosa and was awarded specifically to a High School Senior to continue their studies in Music on the saxophone or woodwind instrument.

“We are immensely proud of our scholarship winners who have been granted the opportunity to pursue their passion for music through higher education,” said Tom Needham, LIMEHOF’s Educational Programs Director. “Their talent, dedication, and commitment to their craft inspire us all. We believe that their journey will not only shape their own futures but also contribute to the rich musical legacy of our community and beyond.”

Both Patricia DeRosa Padden, the daughter of LIMEHOF inductee Pat DeRosa and her daughter, Nicole DeRosa Padden (Pat’s granddaughter), were in attendance to present the scholarship in his name to Coleman Schubert. Afterwards they were presented with Pat DeRosa’s LIMEHOF inductee award trophy by LIMEHOF Chairman Ernie Canadeo. Pat DeRosa had been inducted during the Covid lockdown restrictions and unfortunately, he passed away in March of 2023 before the official in person presentation ceremony could be held.

About Christopher Hummel (Centerport, Harborfields High School, Violinist)

Christopher Hummel

Christopher Hummel has a passion for music which has brought him from Germany to Oregon. Equally comfortable leading an orchestra (he is currently serving as concertmaster of the Long Island Youth Orchestra), playing in chamber groups (he is the violinist in the HBK Piano Trio), and as a soloist (he has performed at the Majestic Theatre, and was a featured soloist during the Long Island Youth Orchestra’s 61st season), he has had the opportunity to work with some of today’s leading teachers.

Christopher has won national accolades (3rd prize in the 2021 Charleston International Baroque Competition, and 2nd in the 2021 New York MTNA Senior Performance Competition). He currently studies with Ann Setzer and Jennifer Frautschi. When not with his violin in hand, you will find him swinging a tennis racquet or spending time with his wonderful family.

Christopher is incredibly grateful to receive this scholarship from the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. This generous scholarship will enable him to pursue his passion for music at Juilliard, taking the next step towards his dream career of being a soloist.  He would like to thank the scholarship committee, his teachers, and his parents for supporting him on his journey to becoming a professional musician.

About Jacob Leshnower (Dix Hills, Half Hollow High School East, Percussion and Piano)

Jacob Leshnower

Music has played a unique role in shaping Jacob’s academic and professional pursuits. Jacob began playing piano when he was two years old and chose percussion in fourth grade after being wowed by the timpanist at a Carnegie Hall concert. In high school, he played percussion in the All-District Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Orchestra, and Marching Band, and piano in Jazz Band and Pit Orchestra.

Jacob also has had the amazing opportunity in recent years to perform as a percussionist in All-County, All-Eastern, and All-National ensembles, as well as the featured pianist in the All-State Symphonic Band. These experiences have provided him with an opportunity to meet like-minded people and confirm my commitment to pursue music as I enter college and beyond.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacob participated, by audition, in the Juilliard Summer Percussion Masterclass Series, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the NYU Sandbox Percussion Seminar. In addition, he has conducted original research into complex and important aspects of the intersection of music and psychology that has been accepted for presentation at international science competitions. Jacob plans to continue this music-related research in college and beyond, and he would like music performance to be a major part of his career. Jacob looks forward to attending Yale University in the fall, participating in ensembles while taking lessons at the Yale School of Music. “I am honored to receive the Long Island Music Hall of Fame scholarship because it is a testament to my passion for music and a source of great encouragement as I embark upon a musical career.”

About Luca Alexandru (Syosset, Syosset High School, Guitarist, Singer-songwriter)

Luca Alexandru

Luca Alexandru is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, and producer. In addition to his selection as the jazz guitarist of the 2022 All National Jazz Ensemble, Luca was also selected as the jazz guitaristfor the 2022 All State Vocal Jazz Ensemble, a Bass for the 2022 All State Mixed Choir, a jazz guitar alternate for the 2021 All State Jazz Ensemble, and a finalist in the 2023 All Eastern Composition Symposium. In his free time Luca likes to write and perform music with his band, play soccer on his travel team, and teach guitar lessons.

“I am so incredibly grateful to receive this scholarship. I would like to thank all of my music teachers and mentors for their guidance and for inspiring me to be the best musician I can be every day.”

Luca is very excited for his future in Boston as he plans to attend Berklee College of Music and major in Music Production and Engineering.

About Alexis Panebianco (Williston Park, Mineola High School, Voice and Trumpet)

Alexis Panebianco
Alexis Panebianco

Alexis’s passion for music grew stronger after taking part in middle and high school musicals, choirs, and marching band. There was no greater honor in her music career than being Drum Major of the Mineola Mustang Marching Band. The band achieved 1st Place in New York State Championships for three years during her tenure. Participating in the marching band gave her the opportunity to learn important life skills, such as leadership, resilience, and accountability.

Alexis has also participated in the ACDA All National Chorus, the NAFME All Eastern Chorus and NYSSMA All County and All State Chorus’s as a soprano vocalist. Alexis’s positive experiences with music solidified her plans to major in Music Education at Hofstra University.

Her family has lived on LongIsland for three generations, and she looks forward to using her education and experience to help students on Long Island grow, mature, and expand their minds in the same way the resources of Long Island and music have helped her to grow into the student and musician that she has become.

“Thank you to the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame for awarding me the 2023 Student Scholarship! I knew that music would help me find my voice and purpose from a very young age.”

About Coleman Schubart (Babylon, Babylon Jr-Sr. High School, Oboe and English Horn)

Coleman Schubart

From a large musical family, Coleman Schubart is the fifth of six siblings and has a twin sister. Coleman studied piano and cello between the ages of 6 and 10 and then picked up the saxophone in the fourth grade. By the eighth grade, his school band was drowning in saxophone players, and his band director asked him to switch to oboe. Since then, Coleman has studied oboe with Dr. Terry Keevil, the Chamber Music Director at Stony Brook University.

Coleman began participating in NYSSMA at the age of six and consistently received score of A+ each year. In the 10th and the 11thgrade, he received scores of 100 on his oboe All-State auditions. He was an All-State alternate in 11thgrade and was selected for the All-State Band in 12th grade. Coleman is a member of the Tri-M Honor Society and has played in the pit orchestra of three high school musicals, covering clarinet, saxophone and oboe parts. Throughout high school, he has been selected for many orchestra and band festivals, and in 11th grade, he was the winner of the Eastman School of Music Award.

Outside of school, Coleman is first chair oboist in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, through which he has performed at the Tilles Center, the Staller Center, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall.

He has volunteered as a parish musician in three Long Island parishes. Under the baton of his conductor father, he has been afforded countless opportunities to play with graduate school and professional musicians in ensembles ranging from quartets to symphonic orchestras. Coleman has been engaged over the last year as a featured oboe soloist for several recitals. His most recent appearances were at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington and St. Patrick’s Church in Bay Shore.

Coleman will enter Michigan State University in the fall and will study with Dr. Nermis Mieses as a dual oboe performance and music education major. He looks forward to someday sharing his love of music with future students as his father did with him.

About the Pat DeRosa Memorial Scholarship

Pat DeRosa

Mr. Pat A. DeRosa performed for many years from Manhattan to Montauk and beyond. He taught music in Huntington and South Huntington and in 2018 the Guinness Book of World Records named him the “World’s Oldest Professional Saxophone Player”. (101 years old and still playing in 2022). Additionally, he was inducted into the Long Island Hall of Fame and the South Huntington Hall of Fame.

 Born in Brooklyn and raised in South Huntington, Pat picked up a saxophone in the Bowery with his mom at the age of 12. After High School, he worked at Grumman before he was drafted into WWII where he played with the Glenn Miller Army/Air Force Band.

After the war, he played at The Latin Quarter and the Copacabana as well as other NYC clubs while attending the Manhattan School of Music where he received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in English Horn and Oboe. He played with Tommy Tucker, Tex Benecke, Lionel Hampton amongst others while on the road stopping to make a movie in Hollywood where he was invited to have lunch with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. When he returned home, he was introduced to John Coltrane and they played duets together for three years.

Most recently he could be seen playing with his daughter, Patricia DeRosa Padden of Montauk, on piano and his granddaughter Nicole DeRosa Padden, also of Montauk, on vocals and flute as well as sitting in with numerous bands on the East End and Western Suffolk. Pat retired from teaching in 1978 but his students continued to contact him often.

This Memorial Scholarship has been set up for a High School Senior to continue their studies in Music on the saxophone or woodwind instrument. The criteria includes a 95 or above in Music and a 90 overall average. An essay should also be provided by the student to show why they would like to continue to pursue music.

For more information about LIMEHOF’s scholarships and educational programs visit https://www.limusichalloffame.org/scholarshipsgrants/


Founded in 2004, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall Of Fame (LIMEHOF) is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical and entertainment heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Islandmusic and entertainment in all its forms. In 2022, LIMEHOF opened its first Hall of Fame building location in Stony Brook Village. To date, the organization has inducted more than 120 musicians and music industry executives, and also offers education programs and scholarships, and awards to Long Islandstudents and educators.

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Many who visited the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in Stony Brook Sunday, June 11, may have thought they stumbled upon a family reunion. In a way they did, as Long Island hip-hop artists were on hand to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the genre at an event hosted by the museum and venue.

The Sunday afternoon event started with a “knock out” presentation as the museum unveiled a statue of LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith in Bay Shore. The actor, rapper, songwriter and music producer’s successes include the hit “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1990) and his role on “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

The statue, known as The G.O.A.T. Monument, is officially titled “Going Back to The Meadows, A Tribute to LL COOL J and Performance at FMCP” and was created in 2021 by artist Sherwin Banfield. During the unveiling ceremony, Banfield pointed out different accents he included on the 8 1/2-feet tall, 600-pound statue, including a boom box with a cassette tape of the rapper’s debut album “Radio” (1985). Banfield also played homage on the piece to what he called “the determination pin.” The rapper’s right arm was paralyzed when he was younger, and his mother would pin his right sleeve to the mattress to inspire movement.

Composed of bronze, stainless steel, steel, winter stone, resin, cement and wood, the statue was displayed in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for a year. It includes a solar panel that powers an audio system.

Blasts from the past

Visitors were treated to performances as well as a Q&A panel where the artists shared stories from the early days of their careers, many of them knowing each other since they were younger.

Before the performances featuring DJ Jazzy Jay (John Bayas), DJ Johnny Juice Rosado, AJ Rok (AJ Woodson) of JVC Force, MC Glamorous (Chaplain Jamillah), Dinco D (James Jackson) of Leaders of the New School and the group Son of Bazerk, the artists participated in the Q&A panel along with Keith Shocklee of the producing team The Bomb Squad and an original member of Public Enemy as well as video jockey and director Ralph McDaniels. The panel members were happy to share the history of hip-hop on Long Island stories with attendees.

Shocklee, who was born in Roosevelt, said he, along with his brother and friends, started DJing by playing in his family’s basement in the 1970s. They then began to play at local youth centers around the Island and throw parties in friends’ basements and backyards. Soon they were DJing at the local parks. While others would go to Centennial Park in Roosevelt to play basketball, other young people would go to play music, Shocklee said.

“It’s something we did to stay off the streets of Long Island,” he said. “It wasn’t as dangerous as the Bronx or Brooklyn, but you had your stick-up kids.”

MC Glamorous, originally from Freeport, said events such as Roosevelt Day, Freeport Day and Wyandanch Day gave the communities something to look forward to and the artists a chance to perform.

“It brought people together, and we got a day to shine also with those jams,” she said.

Shocklee said Long Island hip-hop artists in the 1970s were aware the Bronx was the epicenter of hip-hop, where he said the DJ technique scratch, MCs, hip-hop culture and breakdancing were born and developed.

McDaniels said the hip-hop culture on Long Island was different from what was happening in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and parts of New Jersey. He said when he hosted “Video Music Box” he was able to compare music scenes.

“There was something going on in Long Island that was different,” he said. “When I heard Public Enemy, when I heard EPMD [from Brentwood], I was like, ‘This is different.’ This is not what the rest of the city or the rest of the country sounds like, and I think that’s what makes Long Island its own — or Strong Island — its own unique sound, because we weren’t as thirsty. We had homes. Some of us had parents. Some of us went to college. We were relaxed.”

McDaniels reference to “Strong Island” was a song recorded in 1988 by JVC Force sampling a phrase that Public Enemy’s Chuck D used while working as a DJ at Adelphi University’s radio station, WBAU.

Woodson, who spent several of his younger years in Central Islip, said the reason the group recorded the song “Strong Island” was because “you literally had to be from the five boroughs to get respect.”

Bayas, who was part of the development of Def Jam Recordings, remembered when he would come down from the Bronx to play in Amityville, and the first time he said, “We’re going out to the country.”

During those visits to the Island, he said he met hip-hop artists Biz Markie, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith — the latter two from EPMD — when they were children. Bayas said before hip-hop, if someone didn’t know how to play an instrument, they weren’t considered a musician. For that reason, he learned to play the drums and, as a DJ, he said he and others were always searching for the rare group to play at the parties.

“Hip-hop allowed us to be musicians because we have something to offer, because we know what music to play,” Bayas said.

The LIMEHOF received a surprise visit toward the end of the event from rapper Keith Murray who grew up in Central Islip. The venue had to postpone its induction of The Fat Boys, from Brooklyn, as surviving member Kool Rock-Ski (Damon Wimbley) was unable to attend at the last minute.

From left, JVC Force's AJ Rok, The Fat Boys' Kool-Rock Ski, Son of Bazerk and Ralph McDaniels Photos from LIMEHOF
From left, Jazzy Jay, Public Enemy’s DJ Johnny Juice and Leaders of the New School’s Dinco D and Milo In De Dance

By Rita J. Egan

In the early 1970s, a new genre of music came out of the Bronx called hip-hop. Through the years, the music’s popularity grew and among the hip-hop artists were Long Islanders. On Sunday, June 11, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the genre and those local entertainers, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in Stony Brook will host a special concert along with a discussion panel featuring several artists who began their careers in Suffolk, Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn.

Members of Son of Bazerk, Kool Rock-Ski (of The Fat Boys), DJ Jazzy Jay and DJ Johnny Juice Rosado (of Public Enemy) are scheduled to perform. A panel discussion will also take place with Rosado, AJ Rok (of JVC Force), Dinco D and Milo in de Dance (both of Leaders of the New School), and special guest Ralph McDaniels (of Video Music Box). In addition to the performances and Q&A, the hall of fame will unveil a statue of hip-hop artist and actor LL Cool J and induct The Fat Boys.

Tom Needham, LIMEHOF vice chairman, said the event aligns with the organization’s ultimate goal to represent and present different types of music. He added there is so much talent in the area, including hip-hop artists, some who have already been inducted into the local hall of fame.

“I think a lot of people, when they think of music on Long Island, simply think of Billy Joel, but there are so many hip-hop artists who lived here, who made music here,” Needham said. “I think sometimes the average Long Island resident just doesn’t even know it.”

Rosado, who has been involved with LIMEHOF since its early days and was inducted with Public Enemy in 2008, said the idea to include the panel came from a tour he took part in during 2012. He and his fellow artists came up with the idea to have a press conference with a panel before shows. He said he feels concerts should have some kind of context and a Q&A helps to provide that.

“I think that it’s important, especially with something like this, a museum and a hall of fame, to kind of know the artists, what they’re about, and why Long Island was such an incredible incubator for these types of acts,” he said.

The event will give several entertainers the opportunity to visit the venue for the first time, including AJ Woodson, a.k.a. AJ Rok from JVC Force. Now the editor-in-chief of Black Westchester Magazine, Woodson said he was happy to hear about the event from Rosado.

“Long Island rap needs to be celebrated more, and it doesn’t get celebrated the way it should, but it was a very strong region as far as it had a lot of contributions to hip-hop,” the journalist said.

A bit of history

Rosado, in addition to being part of Public Enemy, whose “Fight the Power” was featured in the 1989 movie “Do The Right Thing,” has worked with various artists and composed film scores. He remembers the early days of hip-hop as being similar to jazz’s trajectory.

“A lot of it wasn’t accepted by the established greats of the time or what have you, and because of that, it was a hard time trying to get it launched,” he said. “But, along the way, there were some breakthrough moments like when Run DMC did ‘Walk This Way.’”

The 1986 hit was a cover of Aerosmith’s 1975 song, and the hip-hop version did better on the charts than the original. Rosado added that many artists, such as Aerosmith, had a resurgence when hip-hop artists would sample classics.

Woodson said hip-hop started out as a way to express oneself and now it has touched “every form of entertainment at this point.”

As for Long Island artists, Needham said in the early days of hip-hop, many, during interviews, were made to feel as if they had to say they were from New York City.

“It was actually a thing in the record companies,” he said. “Their strategy years ago was — if somebody was from Long Island — they would kind of rewrite their history slightly and make it sound like they were from New York City. They didn’t think it was cool to say they were from Long Island with a lot of different artists, not just hip-hop.”

During the June 11 panel, attendees can find out how many of these entertainers first formed their groups.

Woodson said he moved from Mount Vernon to Central Islip when he was 7. After his parents divorced and his father moved back to Mount Vernon, Woodson decided to attend high school there. He would visit Central Islip often and, after graduation, was back on Long Island. One day his neighbors told him about William Taylor (B-Luv) and Curtis Andre Small (DJ Curt Cazal), who were young DJs starting out, and a friend told him about a party they were having. When he attended, a friend asked if Woodson could have a mic.

“Me and B-Luv were on the mic and going back and forth,” he said. “Not really a battle but we were going back and forth, exchanging rhymes and everybody talked about how great we sounded.” The party was a turning point in Woodson’s life as he joined the group and soon after they were making demos. JVC Force is responsible for the song “Strong Island” in 1988, which sampled Chuck D from Public Enemy saying the phrase on Adelphi University’s radio station. The song helped drive home the fact there were hip-hop artists from Long Island, including Public Enemy and Erik B. and Rakim.

Cassandra Jackson, also known as ½ Pint from Son of Bazerk, will be performing on June 11 with her fellow group members Tony Allen “Bazerk” and Gary Pep Stanton “Daddy Rawe” as well as DJ Johnny Juice. The performance will be in memory of Son of Bazerk member Jeff “Almighty Jahwell” Height who passed away a few months ago.

Jackson’s musical journey began in Freeport. She said before her sophomore year of college, she and her friends were playing basketball at the park and “thrash talking” when someone approached her and said, “Sounds like you can make records.” While she was surprised someone would approach her on a basketball court and say that, she gave him her number and he met with her grandparents. It turned out to be Hank Shocklee, a member of the producing team The Bomb Squad, and he introduced her to Townhouse 3, which eventually became Son of Bazerk. She said she remembered the guys growing up in Freeport.

Becoming part of the group and performing she said “was so surreal for me.”

“It was the epitome of what it was to be hip-hop,” she said. “Banging on the tables in the lunch room, back of the bus rhyming, those things, and then to be able to actually go into a studio and do those things that I’ve practiced with my friends and then to actually be on stage to convey those things and perform.”

Jackson said preserving the history of hip-hop is important. She is still making music and working on a documentary. An administrator of the Alternative Learning Academy with Roosevelt High School, Jackson runs an alternative program where she incorporates hip-hop into the curriculum. “More than just the music, hip-hop stands on the shoulders of movements before, and the music is a way to express that — how we feel and who we are and what we’re trying to convey.”

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The 50th anniversary of hip-hop concert and panel discussion event will be held on Sunday, June 11 at 2 p.m. at the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame, 97 Main Street, Stony Brook. The event is free with admission ($19.50 for adults, $17 for seniors and veterans, and $15 for students with ID). For more information, call 631-689-5888 or visit www.limusichalloffame.org.