Volume 17 • Issue 19 | October 01 - 07, 2004

Downtown Express photos by Elisabeth Robert

Ella Cohen, 2, left, and Hudson Davis, 2, ate and rocked the night away at a Pier 25 fundraiser to benefit Manhattan Youth and the Church Street Music School.

Pier party benefits youth groups

“The Last Blast at Pier 25,” a benefit to raise money for Manhattan Youth and Church Street School for Music and Art, rocked the Hudson River esplanade in Tribeca on Thursday night.

10,000 Maniacs, a band from Jamestown, New York, entertained the audience with their hit songs from the ‘80s and ‘90s, including “Hey Jack Kerouac,” “Eat for Two,” and “These are the Days,” which was incidentally one of President Clinton’s campaign songs in 1992.

The Sonatas steel orchestra played with drums of steel, above, and a saxophonist with the Lewis Elderlane Experience, warmed up the crowd before 10,000 Maniacs took the stage later in the evening.

“We want to bring music and art to every child,” said Steve Gustafson, the band’s base guitarist said before taking the stage. “Music is good for kids, and every one of them should have the opportunity to learn it.”

10,000 Maniacs supported the event as a special favor to Lisa Ecklund-Flores, director of the Church Street School.

“We’re friends from high school,” said the delighted Ecklund-Flores. “I’m very excited about this collaboration.” The community support for the event, she added, was moving.

Last Blast also included performances by The Sonatas steel orchestra, a Caribbean-beat music group and The Lewis Elderlane Experience, a retro rock band.

Children, parents, teachers, and community members ate, drank, bonded, frolicked, and raised funds for a worthy cause as the calm waters of the Hudson gurgled in the background and the soft autumn breeze washed over Pier 25.

—Divya Watal

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