Stefano DiBenedetto, a partner in OCD Music Group, was leaving a store in Island Park, on his way to a meeting with singer-songwriter Cass Dillon, when a guy approached him.
"He said, 'I just need to eat - I'm not using the money for anything else,' " DiBenedetto recalls. "So I gave him some money, and when I met with Cass, I said, 'We need to do something for the homeless.' "
Within days, DiBenedetto, Dillon and Billy Joel's musical director, Tommy Byrnes, had set up a show at The Vibe Lounge in Rockville Centre to benefit the Nassau-Suffolk Coalition for the Homeless. The show features Dillon, singer-songwriter Mike Del Rio, rockers Lights Resolve, new new-wavers TVTV, Stealing Jane's Bryce Larsen, and newcomers Scott Harris, currently working on his debut with Rihanna's management, and T.J. Byrnes, working on his debut with Joy Zipper.
DiBenedetto says that he is still fielding calls from other musicians who want to get involved and that the slate could grow.
"We wanted to make it a musician experience as opposed to being a show," DiBenedetto says. "We wanted to make it a bunch of musicians from the Island getting together and sharing a moment of music."
DiBenedetto says each act will sing three songs, probably with some collaborations and holiday songs included, with everyone returning for a finale of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)."
"It seems everyone is struggling," DiBenedetto says. "I can't walk by anyone needing help. If I was in that position, I would hope somebody would help me."
The benefit is 7 p.m. Monday at The Vibe Lounge, 60 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre, 516-208- 6590. Admission is free but donations will be accepted at the door for the Nassau-Suffolk Coalition for the Homeless, nsch.org.