Downtown Sounds presents world-renowned sax player Richie Cannata, who will perform with The Lords of 52nd Street at the Glen Cove Village Square Plaza on Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. In the 19-year history of the weekly summertime concert series, Cannata’s performances have drawn some of the biggest crowds and this year’s show should be no exception.
During a storied career, Cannata has played with music icons including Billy Joel and The Beach Boys. He has also been known to bring some famous friends to Glen Cove to accompany his performances. For example, in 2012, former Yankee centerfielder Bernie Williams played with Cannata and his band. This year, he will be performing with The Lords of 52nd Street, a band that was previously known as Topper. Topper was formed in the 1960s by Russell Javors on guitar and vocals, Doug Stegmeyer on bass and Liberty DeVitto on drums, and by 1976, they hit the big time performing in studio with Billy Joel on Turnstiles.
When Joel decided to introduce a sax player into the mix, Cannata got the call and the rest, as they say, is history. For example, Cannata’s work on “New York State of Mind” stands the test of time and serves as an anthem for the Empire State. The Lords of Flatbush were also featured on Joel’s The Stranger, which holds the distinction of going 10-times platinum, and they performed with him during his international tour including concerts at Wembley Stadium, Budokan, the Sydney Opera House, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall and the LA Forum.
Following their initial success, The Lords of 52nd Street toured with the Piano Man for more than a decade and performed on classic albums including 52nd Street, Glass Houses and The Nylon Curtain. However, the group disbanded in the late ‘80s and did not reunite until 30 years had passed and they were being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. They have been performing regularly since getting back together.
In addition to rejoining his former mates, Cannata’s recent past has been noteworthy on a number of other fronts. On week two of the Downtown Sounds Concert Series, Glen Cove Mayor Reggie Spinello honored Cannata by giving him the key to the city and naming the downtown intersection “Richie Cannata Place.” In addition to commemorating his legendary musical career, the ceremony celebrated what might very well be Cannata’s biggest accomplishment to date as he had just waged a year-long battle with cancer and was now completely free of the insidious disease. On Aug. 12, his comeback will be complete as he re-takes the stage in his beloved home town. They are bringing some very special guests along: Julio Fernandez (Spyro Gyra), Ozzie Melendez (Marc Anthony), Amber Ferrari (Janis Tribute), and Ed Terry, as well as local favorite Eren Cannata to make it all in the family.
Opening for the Lords of 52nd Street will be rising star Gianni Paci. Few artists bear the distinction of transcending demographics as diverse and disparate as teeny-bopper bible Tiger Beat and esteemed arts-and-culture conglomerate Blackbook, but with his alluringly accessible yet surprisingly profound songwriting, Paci manages to do just that. With rock-star credibility that stretches far beyond his years, and a bachelor’s degree from New York University, Paci performs as living proof that the most electrifying entertainers are those whose origins are as idiosyncratic and outlandish as bottled lightning.
Presenting sponsors for Downtown Sounds 2016 are the City of Glen Cove, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Garvies Point. Other sponsors include Northwell Health Glen Cove Hospital, Kimco Realty, American Paving & Masonry Corp., Bridge Marine, The Downtown Café, Glen Cove Volvo, and The Glen Cove Printery. Media partner is The SUNY College at Old Westbury, OWWR Old Westbury Web Radio and OWTV Old Westbury Television. Host Joe Manfredi will be streaming the concerts live on www.ustream.tv, keyword OWWR. Free parking for Downtown Sounds is available nearby. Rain location is the Wunsch Arts Center at R.M. Finley Middle School on Forest Avenue.
For more information, call the Glen Cove BID at 516-759-6570 or visit