By Connor Beach
Music lovers from Dix Hills are teaming up for a benefit concert tomorrow night to raise awareness and funds for The John and Alice Coltrane Home and the Integrated Medical Foundation for prostate cancer.
The inaugural JazzNJam concert, featuring Grammy winner Charles Neville, Gary Smulyan and Eric Woolman, will be held at 8 p.m. at Port Washington’s Landmark on Main Street, and will honor Michael Blueweiss of Dix Hills.
Blueweiss, 61, has been serving as an advisor and volunteer with The Coltrane Home for the last five years, and almost a year ago was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Blueweiss said it was after an operation in March that he came up with the idea to hold a benefit concert.
“I was sitting at home for a month on disability when I came up with the brainstorm of putting on my own concert that would benefit both the home and the prostate cancer awareness foundation,” Blueweiss said.
The concert has been in the works for over a year, Blueweiss said, during which time he booked the theater and musicians himself, but recently a new honoree has been added to the list.
“About a month ago the two charities decided instead of me presenting it for them, they are now doing it in my honor,” Blueweiss said. “It really means so much to me; it’s the thrill of a lifetime.”
Music has always been one of Blueweiss’ passions, and as a 35-year resident of Huntington he feels that the Coltrane Home should serve as a center of culture and music for the community.
“There are those things we do for our livelihood, and there are those things that keep us alive; music is really one of my passions,” Blueweiss said.
Friends of the Coltrane Home President Ron Stein said Blueweiss has a real passion for the home and huge love of music, and has been the driving force behind the event.
“It’s really looking to continue to raise the profile and awareness around Long Island of the fact that we have this amazing musician, John Coltrane, who lived right here in Dix Hills, and you have a Huntington resident who, despite his huge medical challenges is pushing forward for this cause,” said Stein, of Huntington.
Performing at the event is Dix Hills resident and 14-year-old child guitar prodigy Brandon Niederaur. At age 12, Niederaur starred as “Zack” in the musical “School of Rock” on Broadway.
“I called up Brandon and he said he’d be happy to do it, so he just got added as a special guest star who will come on and do a couple of songs with Charles Neville and Circus Mind,” Blueweiss said.
So far, Blueweiss said, the event has raised $18,000 for the two charities, and his goal is to reach $25,000.
For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit Brownpapertickets.com.