Arts & Entertainment

Student at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield Creates Rock Concert to Benefit Musical Education for Children

Temple Emanu-El student Matt Levine is organizing a benefit concert for the organization Little Kids Rock as part of his bar mitzvah service project.
Bad Habit: Andres Holguin, guitar (Old Bridge), Loren C. Fortna, vocals (Scotch Plains), Mark Tully, bass (Hawthorne), Mine Dellipaoli, drums (Long Branch).
Clockwise from top: Matthew Krajewksi, guitar ; Charlie W. Jackson, drums (Scotch Plains); Eric Harrison, vocals (Scotch Plains); Mike Doktorski, bass; Eric Kvortek, keyboards
Matt Levine playing at the EEF MusicFest 2016 with guitar teacher Loren C. Fortna

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Terrill Middle School seventh grader and Temple Emanu-El student Matt Levine is organizing a benefit concert for the organization Little Kids Rock as part of his bar mitzvah service project. The event will feature local bands at the Crossroads restaurant and music venue in Garwood on Sunday, June 11 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Little Kids Rock is an organization that provides music education in areas where music has been cut for budgetary and financial reasons. The organization has helped over 500,000 students nationwide. A guitarist and an aspiring singer-songwriter, Levine knew this was how he wanted to make a difference.

“Everybody should have music in their lives. Music has enriched my life, made me a better person and I can’t imagine my life without music and my guitars,” said Levine. “I want to help other kids have that same opportunity.”

Sign Up for E-News

Levine performed at last year’s SPF EEF MusicFest at Crossroads and, remembering that experience, knew having his own benefit concert to share in his passion for music was his calling. Referring to music as his “creative and therapeutic outlet for my innermost thoughts and feelings,” Levine credits several people, including his dad and his music teacher, for making this idea a reality.

“My dad first told me about Little Kids Rock and after some research, I knew I wanted to be a part of this cause,” explained Levine.

Once Little Kids Rock expressed their excitement and enthusiasm toward the idea, Levine contacted Crossroads owner Lee Frankel about hosting the event. Frankel, known to be accommodating for several fundraising and musical events throughout the year, agreed to book the venue. Between Levine and his guitar teacher at Scotch Plains Music Center, Loren C. Fortna, who both worked to contact local bands and groups, five bands are slotted to perform at the benefit on June 11 – including Fortna’s own group, Bad Habit.

Below is the lineup for the performances.

Above the Moon (Madison, NJ)
A four-piece that melds indie pop melodies with 90’s rock intensity. 

The Mylars (Union, NJ)
The Garden State's newest super-charged rock and roll outfit with a back story too good to even try and embellish. 

The Well Wish 
A female-fronted quartet blending the sounds of alternative and indie rock based out of New Jersey.

Bad Habit (Scotch Plains, NJ)
We are excited for the long anticipated reunion of Bad Habit with Loren C. Fortna 

Eric Harrison's Crash Chorus (Fanwood, NJ)
Singer/Songwriter Eric Harrison and the semi-legendary musical collective known as Eric Harrison's Crash Chorus.

Levine also plans to perform a short set of his own original music at the event, as will Lexi Melnitsky, an SPFHS sophomore. In addition to the benefit, Levine has set up a crowd rise page for those that may want to help but are unable to attend.  From both of these efforts, he hopes to raise at least $2,000 for Little Kids Rock.

Click here to donate on the Crowd Rise page .Levine will become a bar mitzvah in September at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

June 18, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ — Parents, children, friends and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders was a day of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the rock ...

Westfield 20/20 Endorses Tom Malinowski for Congress

June 18, 2018

The upcoming congressional election is not a typical midterm. We, as a country, are in a state of crisis. We need strong leaders to hold the current White House administration accountable on important policy matters such as healthcare, the environment, gun violence, and the rights of women.

Throughout his candidacy, Tom Malinowski has demonstrated intellect, conviction, and strength. As a ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, June 19, 7:00 PM

Westfield Municipal Building, Westfield

Westfield Town Council Meeting

Community Calendar Government


Tue, June 19, 7:30 PM

BOE Administration Building, Westfield

Regular Meeting of Board of Education of Westfield


Westfield Police Blotter: Tires Slashed on Scotch Plains Ave & More

June 13, 2018

June 6, 2018 3:05 p.m.

A resident of the 200 block of sunset avenue reports being the victim of a fraud. Unknown actor(s) utilized victims credit card to purchase an appliance valued at $1,000.00. Victim did not sustain any monetary loss during this incident. 

June 6, 2018 6:50 a.m.

A resident of the 100 block of Scotch Plains Avenue reports being the victim of a criminal mischief.

Westfield Historic Preservation Commission Presents Devlin Awards

June 18, 2018

The Westfield Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) presented its Harry Devlin Awards for outstanding efforts in restoring, expanding or updating older properties to 12 property owners at a reception in the Community Room of town hall on Thursday, June 14.  A special award was given to Helaine Donnelly and Pat Velderman in recognition of their work to establish the Kimball Avenue ...

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*


TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

How Divorce or Separation Impacts Your Financial Life

Undeniably, divorce will have a significant effect on your life and especially your finances. There are around 800,000 divorces in the United States each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Here's how to enter into the situation financially informed.

Know The Costs Sooner Rather Than Later
It’s never too early to gather information on how much money ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more