by: Glenn Gamboa (Newsday, Music Fanfare)

NewsdayBlog_07282013_2Carl Fischer believes in the power of music. The trumpeter from Freeport is best known for his work in Billy Joel’s band, but he also leads two bands of his own, Nouveau Big Band and the funkier Organic Groove Ensemble that he hopes make people smile.

“Music brings everybody closer together,” he says. “It helps them forget their cares for a minute.”

And Fischer knows firsthand how important that can be. Like so many of his Long Island neighbors, Fischer was hit hard by superstorm Sandy last year, losing everything in his Freeport home that he wasn’t able to move to the second floor.

“I’m not gonna complain,” Fischer says. “My neighbors on both sides lost everything — 100 percent.”

Even months after the storm, Fischer knows that many Sandy victims are still struggling, still “trying to get toaplace of normalcy.” He decided he wanted to do a free concert to help with that in Freeport. “I’ve had so many positive times there,” he says. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

Fischer says that when he played the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year, Joel told the crowd that Sandy’s victims were using the way Hurricane Katrina’s victims endured as an example for them.

“Music is a good healer,” says Fischer, who will head out to play some jazz festivals with Nouveau Big Band before he goes on tour with Diana Ross in mid-August. “It would also help raise some awareness that there are people still here who need help and that there’s so much still to do.”

Carl Fischer’s Organic Groove Ensemble plays Hudsons on the Mile, 340 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport at 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission
is free.

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