Light of Day is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020 with 10 days of music events and the goal of raising over $6 million cumulative 20-year total to beat Parkinson’s. Over 50 events by 150 music acts are to take place in five cities and three states, from Jan. 10-20, 2020. The hosting cities are Asbury Park, NJ, Montclair, NJ, New York City, Rockland County, NY, and Philadelphia.
Ten Day Famed Music Fest Began as Birthday Party
What has grown into the glorious 10-day Light of Day WinterFest began humbly in 1998 as a 40th birthday party for the artist manager and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin. Diagnosed in 1996 with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, Benjamin asked that instead of gifts to please make donations to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
The over $2,000 raised that night inspired Benjamin to continue the quest to raise money and awareness through the power of music to defeat Parkinson’s and the Parkinsonisms, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). The music industry leader reached out to friends, including concert promoter Tony Pallagrosi and musician Joe D’Urso, for assistance. The Light of Day not-for-profit 501(c) (3) charity was formed – taking its name from a Bruce Springsteen song.
The celebrated happening began as a one-day event in Asbury Park and has since culminated in a series of shows taking place as a 10-day festival in the New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia metropolitan area. Light of Day has gained international attention with Bruce Springsteen’s surprise performances in 11 of its past 19 years. In 2019, Light of Day WinterFest raised enough money to catapult its 19-year collective total beyond $5.5 million.
New York City Hosts Light of Day at Renowned Cutting Room
Presented by the Asbury Park Press, the anchor event for the world-renowned Light of Day Foundation celebrates its momentous milestone 20th year in New York City on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd Street. Light of Day New York City is starring Willie Nile, Hollis Brown, The Weeklings, Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan and Jeff Slate with doors opening at 6 p.m. and showtime 7 p.m.
Tickets on sale now at $45 & $75 at thecuttingroomnyc.com
Nile is known for his catalog of music that encompasses heated rock ’n’ roll, thoughtful folk-rock, and intimate acoustic, along with an album of Bob Dylan covers. His long career has afforded Nile an enthusiastic international fan base that includes Bruce Springsteen, with whom he’s guested onstage on several occasions. Pete Townshend personally requested Nile as the opening act on the Who’s historic 1980 U.S. tour. Acknowledged Nile fans also includes Bono, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Little Steven and Lucinda Williams.
“Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.”
Willie is one of the few artists to have participated in Light of Day every year since the beginning.
Living up to their hometown blue-collar legacy drives Hollis Brown, named after the Bob
Dylan song, to be the hard-working rock ‘n’ roll band that they are known for. Adding to their unique sound is a rich melodicism and advanced harmonics blending a wealth of influences – as evidenced on their new album “Ozone Park.”
A perfect anthem for Light of Day is Hollis Brown’s latest single “Go For It.” The upbeat, call-to-action song is about striving for greatness.
Light of Day New York at the Cutting Room
Riding high after playing for Light of Day at the Cutting Room The Weeklings are set to release their new studio album, “3,” on January 17 through Marty Scott’s legendary indie Jem Records. Each band member has over five decades of musical and touring experience. Veteran rocker Glen Burtnik (Lefty Weekling) boasts an impressive resume – ranging from a series of solo albums on A&M and a member of Styx. The left-handed bassist is known for the hit songs he has written – like Patty Smythe and Don Henley’s “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Good Enough,” and Randy Travis’ “Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man”.
Lefty Weekling, who played Paul McCartney opposite Marshall Crenshaw’s John Lennon in the Broadway production of Beatlemania, takes on a similar role opposite band co-founder, guitarist and vocalist Bob Burger (Zeek Weekling). The two teamed to co-write most the band’s originals – Burtnik penned most of the music as “the starter,” and Burger, the lion’s share of the lyrics as “the finisher.”
Celebrating their return from Light of Day Europe, Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan, an Americana Jersey Shore Rock ‘n’ Roll band, are a Light of Day fixture who, like Nile, have played Winterfest every year since its inception. Their brand new 14th CD, “Jersey Diner,” features 11 songs written by D’Urso and three tunes penned by Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and Sandy/Harry Chapin.
Singer-songwriter Jeff Slate is an internationally recognized recording artist and music journalist. He co-founded the band the Mindless Thinkers in the 1980s, founded The Badge in the 1990s, and has performed and worked with countless rock luminaries, including Pete Townshend of The Who, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and Sheryl Crow. His band, with David Bowie sideman Earl Slick – Slick & Slate – and his current band, Jeff Slate & Friends, are both pillars of the Northeast music scene. As a solo performer, Slate has played all over the world, from St. George’s Hall in Liverpool to Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.
Light of Day WinterFest 2020 Shows and Ticket Information
The festival to defeat Parkinson’s celebrates its 20th year with shows in Philadelphia (Jan. 11 @ City Winery), Montclair (Jan. 10 @ Outpost in the Burbs), and Rockland County, NY (Jan. 12 @ Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point). The lineups are the culmination of a worldwide series of shows that are to take place during the 10-day festival.
A full updated schedule with the latest Light of Day show information for Light of Day WinterFest 2020: The 20th Anniversary can be found on the events tab on the official Light of Day website.
Tickets for most Light of Day WinterFest 2020: The 20th Anniversary events are on sale through ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000, and all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets for all events at House of Independents and the Saint are available through TicketWeb and at the venues’ websites. Tickets for McLoone’s Supper Club events are available at timmcloonessupperclub.com.