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Panel to ponder tribute bands' impact on LI music scene

Jim Faith is producer of the Great South

Jim Faith is producer of the Great South Bay Music Festival.  Photo Credit: Long Island Music Hall of Fame

Jim Faith sees both sides in the current “original bands vs. tribute bands” debate in the Long Island music scene.

Between producing the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue and the other events he handles with J. Faith Presents, Faith books hundreds of bands each year. But he also is a musician who played with numerous bands on Long Island in the ’70s and ’’80s.

“There are a lot of people riled up,” Faith says. “But for the most part, it’s been a healthy dialogue to have.”

Faith wants to take the dialogue further with a panel discussion at The Space at Westbury on Thursday, May 24, called “The State of the Long Island Music Scene or ‘Tribute Bands Are Taking All Our Gigs,’ ” which will include such musicians as Michael DelGuidice — who plays in Billy Joel’s band and writes his own original material as well as leading the wildly successful tribute to Joel, Big Shot — and those who book them. (Full disclosure: I’ll be on the panel as well.)

“It’s not a black-and-white issue,” says Faith, who says he hopes the discussion will lead to strategies to help all bands. “It would be great to have a conscious effort to help promote Long Island bands. We’ve never had that before.”

The State of the Long Island Music Scene or "Tribute Bands Are Taking All Our Gigs" panel will be at The Space at Westbury at 7:30 p.m. on May 24. Tickets are $10 at the door.

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