The lead guitarist of psychedelic ’60s band Vanilla Fudge will rock out in Sheepshead Bay for the Bay Improvement Group’s 23rd annual Celebrity Concert Toy Drive on Dec. 14. The holiday concert — which is free for anyone who donates a new, unwrapped toy — will feature classic holiday tunes and the guitar guru said everyone is welcome to join in the jam session.
“We do all kinds of Christmas stuff and have everyone join in with is,” said Vince Martell, who lives in New Jersey but has been performing at the concert series for 23 years.
The show is all about spreading holiday cheer, Martell said. The donated toys will be given to a Sheepshead Bay homeless shelter that houses women and children and Martell said it is important for residents to remember that their neighbors may be struggling in the otherwise-silly season. “A battered women’s shelter — it is a horrible thing but I’m glad somebody’s doing something,” he said.
Martell said the cause is the main reason he keeps coming back to the costal community year after year. But the setting is a nice fringe benefit.
“It is beautiful there — it is very uplifting to see the water and the boats,” he said. “I was in the Navy before the Vanilla Fudge. I love anything around the water and seashore.”
Martell won’t be the only musician donating his chops for the charitable concert. Other performers include Dom “Randy” Safuto — the lead singer of the doo-wop group Randy and the Rainbows — Denver musician Peg Pearl, and Broadway theatre star Ben Vereen. But Martell said rock fans can definitely expect to boogie down to some creamy classics.
“We try to do the first set with some rock ’n’ roll stuff — some Vanilla Fudge,” he said.
Celebrity Concert Toy Drive at Knights of Columbus Baron De Kalb [300 Emmons Ave. at Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 646–9206, www.bayim