Musician Bryan Lazar spent the one year anniversary of his friend Sam Levine’s death–March 19th–at a Zuma Beach candle-lighting ceremony. Levine, an Oak Park High School graduate, died tragically in 2013 while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The 22-year-old basketball player was just a few weeks shy from graduating from the University of Southern California when he fell to his death from the sixth floor of his hotel room balcony.
“I was on my way to a meeting in Beverly Hills when I got the call from a friend,” Lazar said. “It didn’t seem real at first.”
Lazar and Levine met while attending Medea Creek Middle School in Oak Park. In addition to being a well-known athlete, Levine was also a talented drummer, and the two students connected immediately, forming the locally popular band The Bassix, Lazar said.
“We continued to play in different bands together all the way through high school graduation,” said Lazar, who attended Westlake High School and went on to graduate from Berklee College of Music.
Lazar said he always knew he wanted to do a musical tribute to his friend. “I didn’t want every March to bring about sad memories,” he said. “I wanted to celebrate Sam’s life with music and positive feelings.”
After getting the green light from Levine’s family and friends, Lazar was able to secure a venue at the Canyon Club, which waived $8,000 in fees for the charity benefit, according to Lazar.
“A Concert for Sam” will include performances by professional musicians who will play songs that Levine loved as well as music written in memoriam for him. Lazar just released “Songs for Sam,” which he calls “a trailer for the concert.”
Tickets for the show, which begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 28, are $10 and all of the proceeds will go to a basketball scholarship at Oak Park High School set up in Levine’s name. begins at 7 p.m.
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