David Weintraub said he tried to get Milestone on the bill of bands that were to perform at the now-canceled festival for the Quiksilver Pro New York surfing competition.
“We would have done the Quiksilver concerts for free,” said Weintraub, a Lido Beach resident who plays drums in the band. “We would have loved the exposure.”
Instead, Milestone and several other bands and musicians performed at Kennedy Plaza Sunday afternoon, after the competition's trials were held on National Beach. Among the band’s highlights were Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin On" and a funky rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon," featuring tenor saxophonist Andrew Wolf.
The mini-concert featured solo acts, including Ken Truhn playing a four-song original set on acoustic guitar, to seven-man bands that jammed to cover tunes.
Jeanne Marie Boes performed compositions off her latest CD, “Performing Girl.” She travels from Astoria just to perform her soft, piano-driven songs at Arts in the Plaza, the arts show held at Kennedy Plaza each Sunday, and West End venues such as the Whale’s Tale. “It’s a great atmosphere,” Boes said about playing in Long Beach.
Ben Metzger, the former media specialist at the Harriet Eisman School in Long Beach, was instrumental in gathering the musicians for the five hour-long show as the Quiksilver event kicked off.
“People want to be seen and heard and be part of what’s going on,” Metzger said.
Metzger jammed with several musicians — including Weintraub on drums, Karel Ruzika on saxophone, Joann J-Bird Phillips on percussion, Bassanio Clarke on congas and Rocky Corivano on guitar — knocking out his original song “Never Ending War,” and covering “The Tide Is High” by Blondie, “Waiting In Vain” by Bob Marley and the Jimi Hendrix version of “Killing Floor."
Among the other acts were Atom Rush putting his original poem, "Free Will In Brewster New York," over a reggae dub provided by bassist Kentucky Parkis; Peter and Kim Kuperschmidt of Steele Horse performing an acoustic set of rock classics such as Led Zeppelin’s "Ramble On”; Dave Kellan Trio rocking out some funky tunes, including John Mayer's "Who Did You Think I Was?"; and Artie Brand Band playing an all-original set that included rock, funk and reggae.
“This set really stood out to me because it was all original and had a real rock concert energy,” Metzger said.
Metzger also joined Ashley Mastrorocco on acoustic guitar for a duo set of The Cure's "Love Song", Sublime’s "Santeria" and Adele's "Rolling In the Deep.”
Johanna Mathieson, the president of Artists in Partnership, an arts group in Long Beach, also worked to get locals musicians to be part of Quiksilver-created atmospher Sunday.
“We asked if we could do something special and we were allowed to do this Sunday,” Mathieson said about her efforts to get support from the city. “We decided to do something bigger.”
Meanwhile, Weintraub and Metzger are working toward developing a more vibrant arts and music scene in Long Beach. In the past year, they both started separate music production companies: Metzger established Musicnoir; Weintraub started True Live Productions. They have joined forces to work toward a common goal.
“We’re really just trying to get a music scene off the ground,” Weintraub said.