As the New York/New Jersey region continues to recover from the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, many people have stepped in to raise money for those who were affected by the storm. One of those people is Jim Testa, editor of New Jersey music website Jersey Beat.
The benefit is called “Beating Back Sandy: A Jersey Beat Benefit for Victims of the Superstorm.” The concert will happen this Thursday at The Crossroads in Garwood. Speed The Plough, The Cucumbers, Foggy Otis and Zak Smith will be appearing.
The beneficiaries of the concert are two staff members from Jersey Beat who live in Long Beach, NY.
Testa began publishing Jersey Beat as a print magazine in 1982. In 2006, he suspended the print version of the publication and transitioned it to its current home on the Web.
Jersey Beat focuses on the New York and New Jersey music scene. The website has six full-time staffers and a dozen contributors. All of them are volunteers.
After the recent events, Testa was inspired to raise money for the storm victims. “I spent a week in my apartment watching 24-hour news about all these horrible things that were happening, so right away, I had a sort of survivor’s guilt. All this horrible stuff is happening and nothing happened to me. I’ve been part of the music community here for so many years and everybody else was jumping in, so I thought I really need to do something,” said Testa.
“As reports slowly trickled in from everybody I work with and write with, the two people from Long Island were the most seriously impacted. They lived in the Long Beach area and lost a lot of their possessions. The first idea I had was the Jersey Beat t-shirt. I floated that idea and the response was great,” continued Testa.
The benefit show was suggested by Andy Diamond, who books The Crossroads. He offered Testa use of the club for one night. The artists involved in the show are all old friends of Testa’s.
The two staff members are both doing okay, considering the circumstances. “One is with relatives and the other is staying with friends. Both of their apartments are uninhabitable. It’s still tough out there,” noted Testa.
Ultimately, for everyone involved with the show, it is all about helping friends. “The storm was a month ago, but we can’t forget it. The thinking is that every little bit helps. Here are two people who are near and dear to me who serve you by giving you free content, writing about music. This is a little bit of a way to say thank you,” said Testa.
“Beating Back Sandy: A Jersey Beat Benefit for Victims of the Superstorm” happens on Thursday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m. at The Crossroads at 78 North Avenue in Garwood. For more information, call the club at (908) 232-5666 or visit their website. Admission is $10. The show is 21+.