A new series of free outdoor concerts in Wyandanch set to begin Friday night has been suddenly postponed and relocated to Bay Shore by its organizer, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
Executive director Joe Jankowski initially cited “structural issues” with the stages at the site of the planned shows, The Plaza at Wyandanch, where the organization is to soon have its first permanent home. But Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said the cancellation was because organizers failed to secure permits for the new “Village Vibes” series. He said he and other town officials first learned of the concert series from a story in Newsday on Wednesday and notified Jankowski that afternoon that the shows could not go on.
“We apologize, but unfortunately he didn’t follow the procedures,” Schaffer said.
Jankowski said he’s now working with the YMCA Boulton Center in Bay Shore to host the shows originally scheduled for Wyandanch including the John Ambrosini Quartet (July 29), Randy Jackson, lead singer of the band Zebra (Aug. 6), the R&B band Latitude (Aug. 12) and a show featuring “American Idol” contestant Jerome Bell (Aug. 26).
Jankowski said an Aug. 20 concert by Grammy-nominated singer Brady Rymer of Southold will go on as scheduled as part of the larger Wyandanch Plaza Arts Fair planned that day.
Friday’s kickoff concert was to have been a hometown show featuring Wyandanch rapper King Myers (aka Da’Shawn Ellis-Harvey). On Thursday afternoon, the 21-year-old was part of a traffic stop by Suffolk County Police in Wyandanch. He subsequently released a video on social media that shows him rapping a verse with lyrics addressing police brutality before the plainclothes officer walks away from the vehicle.
Suffolk police spokesman Justin Meyers said the officers stopped the vehicle because it had no front plate and its driver had failed to signal while turning. Both are minor infractions in which officers have the discretion of issuing warnings or tickets, he said. “They gave the individual a warning and moved on.”
Reached by phone Friday, Ellis-Harvey said he was disappointed about not getting to perform in his hometown. “I’m kind of upset because this was something that I didn’t know about until the last minute.” And he questioned the timing of the show’s postponement. “You never know nowadays. The police have so much pull.”
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Babylon Town spokesman Kevin Bonner said the concert was called off before the rapper’s traffic stop and added that plaza is only 90 percent completed, so no events can take place there at this time. Jankowski says he is working to reschedule King Myers’ show Aug. 19 at the Boulton Center.