Darryl McDaniels and Debbie Gibson will perform at the Long...

 Darryl McDaniels and Debbie Gibson will perform at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame's 20th anniversary concert.

  Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images for The Meadows Music & Arts Festival; Mickey Bernal/Getty Images

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame will hold a 20th anniversary concert honoring Billy Joel and his music at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville on June 7. The concert is in conjunction with the current exhibit, “Billy Joel: My Life — A Piano Man’s Journey” at the LIMEHOF museum in Stony Brook.

“This will be like the Kennedy Center Honors where other Hall of Fame inductees will pay tribute to Billy Joel,” said chairman Ernie Canadeo. “Each artist will perform one of their own songs as well as one of Billy’s songs.”

The current lineup consists of Debbie Gibson, Jimmy Webb, Mike DelGuidice, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run DMC, Zebra, Albert and Joe Bouchard (formerly of Blue Öyster Cult) plus Joel’s daughter Alexa Ray with more to be announced. A house band, led by saxophonist John Scarpulla and keyboardist Billy Heller, will back up each performer.

“There will be some surprises with the people playing alongside the different artists,” said founding board member Jim Faith, whose company J Faith Presents is coproducing the concert.

DelGuidice, who performs in Joel’s band, is preparing a medley of two Piano Man classics in the same time signature.

“Billy’s going to feel the love. He has helped many people and changed so many lives with his music,” said DelGuidice, formerly of Miller Place. “This is a way for all of us who were inspired by him to give back.”

Gibson will also be on hand to pay respect to the man who served as a role model.

“Billy was the first person to empower me to understand that a song could be written solely by the artist. ‘52nd Street’ was the first album I ever bought and since I’m a piano girl, mastering Billy’s songs on the piano at a young age was always a way to up my chops,” says Gibson, who grew up in Merrick. “I even sought out his piano teacher, the late great Morton Estrin, who I studied with for many years in Hicksville. Billy has been and continues to be hugely inspirational to me in my creative world.”

Many performers are putting their own spin on Joel’s songs. Singer/guitarist Randy Jackson of Zebra is planning to play “Captain Jack” with his band.

“I like the chord changes and the melody,” says Jackson of Centereach. “It kind of sounds in line with what I do.”

McDaniels has prepared a remixed rap version of Joel’s hit, “You May Be Right,” which he will debut at the concert.

“We’re going to flip it and do it hip-hop style,” says McDaniels, a former resident of Freeport. “I might have DJ Johnny Juice scratch in the chorus and let the audience sing it with me. The second verse goes, ‘I’m a music lunatic and I’m just like Billy. I rock Fresno, Phoenix, Freeport and Philly.’ ”

Joel will be present but not performing. He is scheduled to induct his longtime agent Dennis Arfa into the Hall of Fame. Tilles Center is getting inducted as well.

Faith, who has been involved with LIMEHOF since its inception, is blown away by how far the organization has come in two decades.

“It’s kind of surreal,” saids Faith. “We just wanted to change the perception that people had of Long Island. This place is not about Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco. There’s a rich music history here and we wanted to scream that out to the world.”

Tickets ($65-$250) go on sale to the general public  March 27 at 10 a.m. via ticketmaster.com. Check the Ticketmaster website for presale opportunities on March 25 and 26.


WHEN/WHERE 7:30 p.m., June 7, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville

MORE INFO ticketmaster.com, 631-689-5888, limusichalloffame.org

ADMISSION $65-$250

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