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Sand-Aid to Bring Young and 'Seasoned' Musicians Together

Hurricane Sandy benefit concert runs from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday at Morristown High School.

Looking for a bit of fun Friday night while helping out a great cause? Look no further than Morristown High School at 7 p.m. for Sand-Aid, benefiting the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

The event will feature performances not only from some of the area's up-and-coming musical talents--including several performers from last year's Morristown's Got Talent--but also several established acts both from here and down the shore.

Jeffrey Volk, the father of Tyler Volk--who plays drums for the band Art of Play--said the idea for a benefit concert came in December when several of the teen musicians approached their parents and said, "we see what's going on, we see the need," he said.

The families of two of the kids in Art of Play had houses on the shore that were severely damaged by the storm, further hitting home the point that they could do something that would have a personal impact, Volk said.

"Everyone came up with the idea for a benefit concert," he said. "So, we invited some local bands."

Those include his son's Art of Play--which performed at last year's Morristown's Got Talent and had previously won first place in the "Stars of Tomorrow" talent competition at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem; Captain Lung, which took third place at Morristown's Got Talent; and 12-year-old singer Hanna Neil, who also performed at the annual event in 2012.

It's not just the up-and-coming talent that will be playing for Sandy relief on Friday--Jersey shore acoustic guitarist Rich Meyer is set to perform, as well as Hoi Palloi, which has performed for many years throughout the state, including in the Morristown area.

Dominick (Randazzo, father of Art of Play musician Domenico Randazzo) has been a dear friend of the band for than 15 years," said Hoi Palloi guitarist and vocalist Jim Albrecht, who also serves as guitar teacher for Art of Play, whose members are all freshman mostly at Morristown High School.

"They approached us with the idea and we said we're all in," Albrecht said.

The mix of musical styles and eras for the evening will appeal to all ages, he said. And, that's not just because the musicians performing will vary in age.

Ricky Weber, Art of Play's 14-year-old keyboardist, noted his band won't just be modern hits from bands like Maroon 5, but classics from universal favorites like The Beatles.

"We had not had a gig in a while and we wanted to get out there and it was for a worthy cause," he said of the concert.

His father, Richard, said the set list will appeal to both "young and ... 'seasoned,' we'll put it."

"It's going to be a blast," he said. "When the kids came up with idea, we thought it would be a good way to bring the community together. It's a good opportunity to do that in light of everything that has happened. All you hear is bad news. We decided we could make a positive impact."

For Hanna, a seventh-grader at Frelinghuysen Middle School, it was an honor to be invited to perform at the event.

"There are lots of other artists in Morristown that could have been asked. It was important to say 'yes' to this because it raises money for the Sandy victims, and some are having a really hard time right now," said the Morris Township resident, who will perform three songs by Adele, Jason Mraz and Swedish singer Molly Sanben. 

Beyond the benefit aspect of the event, however, Ricky said it simply is going to be a good time for everyone.

"There are going to be a whole bunch of different flavors out there," he said. "It's going to be a blast."

The Sand-Aid Hurricane Sandy benefit concert will be held from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at Morristown High School. Tickets are $10, with all proceeds benefiting the NJ Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. Tickets and general donations can be made at the door or at www.artofplaymusic.com.

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