Music For Occupy founder Jason Samel sees every day as a new opportunity to do something positive in his community.
When Samel saw the effect Superstorm Sandy took on Long Island's South Shore communities, he began planning a benefit concert to raise money toward recovery. The Hurricane Sandy Relief Jam took place Sunday at Mulcahy's Pub & Concert Hall in Wantagh featuring Jellyband, Charlie Dane, Groundswell, The Electrix, DJ Logic and DJ Nicodemus.
"How could I not be compelled to do something to effect my society in a postive manner?" Samel said Sunday. "One of our major goals at Music For Occupy is to get musicians to come together and speak the truth in music. We want to come together in communities and as a community to make a difference."
Samel said his biggest inspiration drew from the group behind Occupy Wall Street. Proceeds from Sunday's event will benefit Occupy Sandy, a non-profit organization sponsored by The Alliance for Global Justice in Washington D.C., as well as supplies for local areas like Long Beach and Lindenhurst.
"I was very involved in Occupy Wall Street since its second day," Samel explained. "When I was in my house without electric and finally had a couple of seconds of a cell signal, I was able to check what Occupy Wallstreet was doing for Sandy. They started out with four or five people who stepped up in the moment and did something unbelievable. They've done such an amazing job, just so powerful."
New York City-based DJ Logic has worked with Music For Occupy in the past and said when Samel reached out about donating time for Sunday's benefit, there was no question.
"We're all effected by what went down with Sandy," said DJ Logic, who is best known for his work with various jazz and jam bands. "I was away in South Carolina for work when the storm hit and I couldn't wait to come home."
"I'm happy to be here and support today," he added. "Music brings everybody together and we need that now."
DJ Nicodemus was also working out of town when the storm hit.
"I came back four or five days after and volunteered with Occupy Sandy," DJ Nicodemus said. "We went down to Coney Island and the Rockaways and it really hit me how serious this was. It really put everything to perspective."
"Today is a win-win for everybody," he added Sunday. "We shared so many stories here today and we got to offer entertainment to raise money for a good cause."
Samel also saw support from Jericho-based RockCanRoll, a hunger relief organization that collaborates with local music.
"They're at a lot of great music events all across Long Island," Samel said. "They collect a lot of food and feed a ton of hungry Long Islanders. I absolutely love what they do and I'm so glad they came on board with us."
Sunday's event raised more than $2,000 for Long Island areas devastated by Sandy. Additional donations can be made at Music For Occupy's website.