All for the East End (AFTEE) and the Sag Harbor American Music Festival (SHAMF) have partnered to present The Best Jams – what is bound to be an epic evening of tunes. The one hour special, a virtual concert, will air on Saturday, June 6 at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday, June 7 at 8 p.m. on LTV, as well as Sag Harbor American Music Festival’s Facebook and Instagram Live, YouTube channel, and sagharbormusic.org.
The evening will feature sets from Dante Mazzetti, Gene Casey, Hoodoo Loungers, Inda Eaton, Jake Lear, Joe Delia & Klyph Black, Ludmilla Brazil, Mama Lee Rose, Nancy Atlas, Points East, Sara Hartman, The 2nd Hands and Winston Irie. There will also be special appearances by Loudon Wainwright III, Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti and Judy Carmichael.
There is a vital reason this exceptional group of local favorites is gathering digitally – AFTEE’s “Feed the Need” campaign – which addresses food insecurity and additional emerging needs that will arise from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Bringing people together through music is what we are about. We are thrilled to be of service to AFTEE, helping raise awareness and funds for ‘Feed the Need’ while connecting these iconic ‘local’ performers directly to our community,” said Kelly Connaughton Dodds, President and Co-Artistic Director of SHAMF.
The headliners are thrilled to be able to share their music with the community once again. “I was just glancing at my date book and calculated this weekend marks 22 gigs that we have lost since March 1 due to the shutdown. It’s been a bit surreal and honestly it is challenging to imagine performing for a crowd on the beach or a packed restaurant in the middle of the summer, the things we take for granted. But, of course, everyone’s life has been disrupted, and sometimes in devastating ways,” Gene Casey relayed.
He continued, “I think all musicians want their music associated with good things, positive things. There is a long tradition of music concerts benefiting all sorts of charities and causes, and this one certainly strikes near the home and the heart. We are all frustrated at not really knowing what to do to help during this crisis, what with ‘distancing’ and isolation being recommended. It goes against the spirit of making music and performing for audiences to put distance between us. So, this opportunity to be ‘virtual’ and reconnected with fellow musicians and friends, fans is welcome indeed. And I know the folks at the SHAMF will do it right.”
Casey is grateful to be able to lend his talents to this important concert. “It is the least we can do in light of those truly putting their lives in the line of fire, so to speak. An honor.”
Inda Eaton was also appreciative to be asked to play for the cause. “Humbled and honored to participate. Any drop of energy to support the pantries helps beyond words. I live in Springs and don’t know how we could navigate this era without the Food Pantry,” Eaton expressed.
PJ Delia, who often shares the stage with husband Joe Delia, was excited to be able to collaborate with East End artists again. “We’re all used to working together, closely, on the stages, in the recording studios, the beaches.… The last few weeks have been so different. To me it was like a ray of light to do it again (even if mostly over the phone or Internet) with so many cool characters sharing their wealth of talent to help others. This is the kind of warmth we all need to feel right now,” she said about working with Klyph Black, Joe Lauro, Cynthia Daniels, and Joe.
For the “Feed The Need” concert, you can expect a special video from the Delias and friends. “I was happy to be invited by Kelly to share music to help our neighbors on the East End. Playing with Klyph in person for the first time since February made it even better. We’re in really good company in this concert and I’m sure it will be a wonderful success,” Joe shared.
“Joe and Klyph and I wanted to make a fresh video for ‘Feed the Need.’ The idea is that Joe and Klyph escaped to the only safe place to play following social distancing rules and not attracting a crowd,” PJ elaborated. “It’s a sad parking lot location half a block from the beach we call ‘Pricker Beach.’ There are interesting sight gags, like a broken beach umbrella, a no parking sign, my shadow at times, and a tape measure (6.5 feet distance, for the record). I’m afraid we gave Joe Lauro and Cynthia Daniels a real headache with wind noise. We know it’s raw but fun and different.”
While recording artist Sara Hartman, who grew up in Sag Harbor, no longer lives locally, she still wanted to champion the cause. “I have been reading headlines about the pain in NY, it has been hurting my soul. I live halfway across the world, an Atlantic ocean away, Berlin is my city but Sag Harbor is still my hometown. I think it is incredibly honorable and important to be organizing and holding events like these. It is important to know your neighbors, to reach out and be kind to the people in your local area. I do believe we can affect real change, do REAL good, if it starts small,” she said.
To date, AFTEE has granted more than $300,000 to local pantries, including “Heart of the Hamptons”, Montauk Pantry, East Hampton Pantry, The Springs Pantry, Sag Harbor Pantry, St. Rosalie’s Church, Cast in Southold and Blaze Church in Flanders. AFTEE hopes to raise $1 million through the “Feed the Need” campaign.
“We are very grateful to the local artists who are generously coming together to support food pantries and other organizations working tirelessly to make sure no one goes hungry. Demands are five times higher than usual due to the loss of jobs and income during the coronavirus shutdown,” says AFTEE President Claudia Pilato. “This need for financial support will last well into the future. AFTEE is committed to being here for the East End, and we thank the entire East End community for being part of the AFTEE team.”
The Sag Harbor America Music Festival, SHAMF, is producing the event, along with Joe Lauro of the Hoodoo Loungers and his company Historic Films, which will edit and produce the video.
For more information about The Best Jams, visit sagharbormusic.org. To donate to the “Feed the Need” campaign, visit www.aftee.org.