by Mira Reverente
Good friends are always there for each other. Sam Levine had a lot of good friends, and Bryan Lazar was among them. Levine, an Oak Park High School graduate, passed away in 2013 during a tragic spring break accident in Cabo San Lucas. He was weeks away from earning his degree at the University of Southern California (USC).
“It was still fresh last year so friends and family were more emotional during the first anniversary of his death,” said Lazar, a friend of Levine’s from middle school. “This time around, I want it to be more of a celebration of his life.”
Lazar is referring to this year’s concert tribute for Levine who was a talented drummer. The first annual “Concert for Sam” was held at the Canyon Club in March 2014.
Both young men played for a local band called The Bassix, even though they attended different high schools. Lazar went to Westlake High School. “We grew up playing music together,” he said.
The second annual “Concert for Sam” will be held on March 20 at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. Grammy winners Gordon Goodwin and Chris Caswell are both expected to grace the stage, along with local musicians and guests from the Berklee College of Music where Lazar is an alumnus.
Proceeds will go towards a still-unnamed charitable fund in Levine’s name. “It will be a foundation for inner-city kids, so they can go to basketball camp,” said Lazar Aside from being a budding musician, Levine was also a rising basketball player, having played for both Oak Park High School and USC.
“They retired his jersey last year,” said Lazar. “It was the only jersey they’ve retired at Oak Park High so far.”
Tickets are $10 each and available online or at the doors, which will open at 6 pm.