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Ryan Star tackles current events at surprise shows

Dix Hills native Ryan Star, seen here on

Dix Hills native Ryan Star, seen here on Oct. 17, 2015, responds to current events at his surprise shows. Credit: Barry Sloan

Ryan Star sits at the piano at Manhattan’s Rockwood Music Hall and makes a confession.

“I feel like I’m running on empty,” the Dix Hills native tells the crowd at a surprise show recently, adding that he’s already worked a full day at his current main job — launching the new app Stationhead, which allows fans to create their own radio stations using streaming services to provide the music.

The deeper Star gets into his set, though, the higher his energy level gets. Part of the beauty of this string of surprise appearances at Rockwood, booked and announced within days of the actual show, is that Star can also respond to current events.

He delivers a poignant version of his song “Boy” — which he wrote after the death of Eric Garner — as a tribute to the late Erica Garner, who became a human rights activist after what happened to her father. Later, he delivered an emotional version of Pearl Jam’s “Black” at the piano.

“This reminds me of what I do when I’m doing other things,” Star told the crowd, adding that he will always be an artist first. “Thank you for that.”

Contact The Long Island Sound at glenn.gamboa@newsday.com or follow @ndmusic on Twitter.

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