Jamsterdam Kicks Off At Asser-Levy The Week

Remember Samantha LoSapio? Sam wrote several articles for Sheepshead Bites, and over the last few months she’s been busy organizing Jamsterdam, a benefit concert for Autism Speaks. The free show will take place in Asser-Levy Seaside Park on Friday, July 9, featuring ten bands representing several genres.

But that’s not the whole story: this awesome concept of bringing good local music to the neighborhood and raising awareness of an important cause was almost squashed by the ongoing legal debacle surrounding BP Markowitz’s Seaside Summer Concerts. But enough of my yammering, we’ll let Sam tell you the story.

We all know Sheepshead Bay’s music scene is less than a blip on the radar. With the scene booming just about everywhere else, it’s hard to believe we don’t have a single reliable venue.

Despite that, some of us just refuse to give up on the idea – even when threatened by lawsuits. My brother, Cory, and I are organizing a concert to take place July 9 in Coney Island’s Asser Levy/Seaside Park.

Jamsterdam, a benefit concert for Autism Speaks, will feature eight NYC bands and two bands making the special trip in from Pennsylvania, and has been funded entirely by us and Vile, from headlining band Circadian Clock. We had bartered for a PA from Brooklyn Audio Rentals, helping ease costs, up until we were smacked with near-devastating news: the court order giving Marty Markowitz’s Seaside Concerts a headache would be the very same one to threaten Jamsterdam.

Last Wednesday night, I received an e-mail saying my permit would no longer be approved. It took some serious negotiating, initially being told there was no flexibility whatsoever at the site. After I called Markowitz, the Parks Department commissioner agreed to have a temporary stage set up for our event. Forced to rent a generator a week before the show, we wound up working with Pro Sho Productions for both power and sound, costing an additional $1200 since the donated equipment we originally intended to use wasn’t powerful enough under the new arrangement. So after nerve-wracking e-mail exchanges we would still be at the park, but set up on a makeshift stage and more expensive equipment.

Less than a week after our event, Neil Sedaka will take the stage with no legal recourse whatsoever. Ouch.

Nevertheless, the show will go on. The lineup features Circadian Clock, Water Temples, Shadow of Demise, Big Pull, Voice of the Population, The Bedroom, To Whom It May Concern, Theo Eastwind, First Place Losers and Christie Lenee. With genres including hip-hop, acoustic rock, jazz, metal and classic rock, there’s something for everyone.

So why Autism? Not only am I related to someone affected by autism, but I’ve worked extensively with students with autism-spectrum disorders. Chances are someone you know is affected too. We want to combine what we’re good at (me – taking care of boring paperwork, Cory – playing music) with a cause we are affected by. The first one that truly made sense to us was Autism.

Jamsterdam, if marginally successful, will be an ongoing series. Perhaps not outdoors, as our first run at this was inundated with problems, but such is any maiden voyage.

Join us on Friday, July 9, from 12 to 8 p.m. We’ll be joined by the Green Pirate Juice Truck, whose herbal iced teas and fresh juices are sure to be a hit with all this hot weather.

Special thanks to Sam Ash Music for providing gift cards to participating bands, and to Pizza Boulevard (located on Oriental Boulevard) for feeding our volunteers.