Music, Arts Meld Where It Counts - 27 East

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Music, Arts Meld Where It Counts

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author on Sep 15, 2015

As Darryl “DMC” McDaniels explains it, “Walk This Way” was not just a song. It was real. And it was a movement.

When Steven Tyler worked with seminal hip-hop trio Run-D.M.C. on the 1986 hit, they broke down walls between black and white, rock and rap, Mr. McDaniels recalled on Friday during a telephone interview, reflecting before the second annual East End Arts & Music Festival this weekend—a celebration bringing together musicians, artists, and even an astronaut.

“He diversified creativity,” Mr. McDaniels said of Mr. Tyler. “That’s what this festival does, by combining technology, art, music, science. The conditions that existed then, with hip-hop, exist today. I want to use the arts to tap into kids’ early desires, because it will create value for them.

“Any girl in a room can be the new greatest designer or programmer,” he added. “Any kid wasting hours on a video game has the potential to be the greatest video game designer and start raking in $1,000 an hour, know what I mean?”

Mr. McDaniels will spread that very message when he takes the stage on Saturday at Stephen Talkhouse during an eclectic night of music alongside Tonic, Glen Phillips and Toby Lightman, who returns after last year’s festivities.

“It’s very exciting being a part of something from the start,” the Springs resident said, adding, “I might have a bit of a bias toward that area. It’s removed from everything and so quiet and peaceful. That’s why we come out as frequently as we can. And for the beach.”

Uniphi Good will produce the second annual, three-day festival in Southampton and points east, according to Annie Balliro, president of the entertainment and media company based in Manhattan and East Hampton. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, Higher Orbits and the Springs Food Pantry.

“We have a saying at Uniphi Good,” Ms. Balliro said, “that ‘all good is good.’ The idea is that there is no good too small that someone can do to help another in some way … and that each good action has a ripple effect that extends way beyond any geographic borders, beliefs or boundaries of any kind.”

New Jersey native Emerson Hart, lead singer of Tonic, currently lives, writes and records in his 200-year-old farmhouse in Nashville, Tennessee. His debut record with Tonic, “Lemon Parade,” was a huge success with songs like “Open Up Your Eyes” and “If You Could Only See,” which changed his life overnight.

“Yeah, that was intense,” he said. “I am grateful that I can wake up, come to the studio and write music every day.”

Music and art succeed where politics fail, Mr. McDaniels said, which is the message behind the festival.

“Creativity succeeds where religions fail,” he added. “Hip-hop showed me not to be afraid of my gifts. I believe that music puts value into people’s lives.”

As a child, he was a Catholic school student who excelled in his grades and pored over comic books when he got home. He recently started a series of his own, “DMC,” published by Darryl Makes Comics. They are dedicated to the idea that every walk of life has a story worth telling.

“Comic books took me to World War II, or wherever,” Mr. McDaniels said. “So what we’re trying to do with comic books is not trying to create anything that’s new. We’re just going to show the world what’s already there … the beauty and the creativity of it.

“Kids look at hip-hop, and they think they gotta have guns or be in gangs to be cool,” he added. “What they don’t know is that nerdy things are cool, like ballet, art, programming. That has the possibility to inspire—creativity will give them value.”

The second annual East End Music & Arts Festival will kick off with an exhibition of artwork by Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr during a private reception on Friday, September 18, at 7 p.m. at 69 Main Street Gallery in Southampton. Register online at uniphigood.com. The show will remain on view Saturday, September 19, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, September 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Festivities will continue on Saturday, September 19, with an eclectic night of music featuring Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Tonic, Glen Phillips, Toby Lightman and more starting at 7 p.m. at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett. VIP admission starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75, or $100 for VIP. A percentage of the proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Project and the Springs Food Pantry.

For a full schedule of events, which include book signings and additional performances, as well as a meet-and-greet with astronaut Frank Culbertson, visit theeastendmusicandartsfestival.com.

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