Still 'Wild About Harry'
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The performers find personal meanings to the songs. “Everyone is always free to do their own thing,” Markus said. “We are not just playing the music the way he performed it. I encourage people come up with their own interpretations and the results have been very creative.”
This year, Markus and Gathering Time will put their spin on “Taxi.” We played it at a 70th birthday tribute concert for Harry in Huntington last December,” he said. “We really liked doing it so we decided to do it again.”
Markus is especially pleased that the younger generation of musicians appreciate Chapin’s legacy and are enthusiastically involved in the concert, including Sam Stellar, Annie Stoic and Mel Fink of the all-female rock band Jackknife Stiletto. “This power trio of women, who participated for the first time last year, has a great energy and youthfulness that they bring to Chapin’s songs,” Markus said. “Mel is the daughter of one our regulars, Debra Lynne, and it’s great to have her involved now.”
Jacknife Stiletto will put their twist on “Shooting Star.” ‘They did it last year and did a really good job, it’s great to have them back with it again,” Markus said.
More than simply a concert, the event, as always, involves a food drive. The evening is dedicated to Long Island Cares, the food bank founded by Chapin in 1980 that works to relieve hunger on Long Island. “We have raised over five tons of food over the years,” Markus said, “and are pleased to continue those efforts.”
Markus reminds everyone attending to bring canned goods and other non-perishable food items, for distribution to needy Long Islanders through Long Island Cares. “We always want everyone to come and enjoy the show, which is free,” said Markus. “But we also want to keep the focus on helping the people that Harry wanted to help.