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From Bruce Springsteen to Blindspot, LIU Post has storied history with top entertainers

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It’s not every day that you see a Golden Globe-winning actor strolling around campus, or one of the top-selling recording artists in history.

At LIU Post, that was just the first weekend in February.

The evening of Friday, February 5 saw Kevin Bacon take the stage at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, as the celebrated concert hall played host to the Bacon Brothers, the actor’s acclaimed side project with older brother Michael. Just three days later, Billy Joel entertained an intimate audience in Tilles Center’s Hillwood Recital Hall, showing his support for the artistic life of Long Island as an advocate for the Long Island High School for the Arts.

Neither man is a stranger to LIU Post, either. Joel’s first performed on the Post campus in 1977, highlighting a particularly rich period in the campus’s musical history that included performances by the Doors, the Beach Boys, and Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen and his E Street Band debuted their rendition of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” at LIU Post in December 1975, making the recording that is now a radio staple during the holiday season.

The campus was educating chart-topping artists during that era as well: When the Isley Brothers re-introduced themselves to the world in 1973 as a six-man group, youngest brothers Marvin and Ernie Isley were enrolled at LIU Post, along with their brother-in-law, Chris Jasper, who wrote and produced the majority of the Isleys’ music during the era. While they toured on the weekends, playing hits like “Shout,” “That Lady,” and “It’s Your Thing,” Jasper and the two youngest Isleys were attending classes at LIU during the week, earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music.

LIU Post’s artistic legacy has only grown in the decades since, as Tilles Center has become Long Island’s premier performing arts venue. LIU Post students and faculty and members of the surrounding communities have come to Tilles Center to hear the likes of Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, Weezer, and Kristin Chenoweth, in addition to celebrated classical performers like Lang Lang and Yo-Yo Ma and comedians Seth Meyers, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jay Leno.  The University has also graduated scores of accomplished performers, including Derrick Davis, currently appearing on Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King, and actress Dina Meyer, best known for her roles in Starship Troopers, Beverly Hills 90210, and the Saw horror franchise.

Bacon, for his part, has filmed scenes for his Fox drama series The Following on the picturesque campus, one of many award-winning actors to shoot on the former Gold Coast estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post. The 300-acre campus has gained recognition as an attractive filming location for productions of all sizes - including CBS’s Madam Secretary, USA Network’s Royal Pains, and Castle Rock Entertainment’s The Rewrite – bringing to campus a wide range of acclaimed performers that includes Oscar-winners JK Simmons and Marisa Tomei and Golden Globe winners Bacon, Hugh Grant, and Henry Winkler.

The list of internationally recognized artists and entertainers on campus continues to grow. The coming weeks will bring celebrated guitarist Joe Satriani, internationally acclaimed violinist Itzhak Perlman, and multi-platinum singer Jason Derulo to the Tilles Center stage, while major film and television productions continue to flock to LIU Post as well. NBC’s Blindspot and CBS’s The Late Show With Stephen Colbert are among the latest productions to film on campus, with the LIU Post campus appearing on national television during Super Bowl 50 in promotional spots for Colbert’s live post-game show. The coming months will see the LIU Post campus on display at one of the world’s most celebrated film exhibitions, as a short film produced by LIU Post students Andrew Morales and Ryan DiBiase has been accepted into the Cannes International Film Festival.

From legendary artists to today’s hottest artists to tomorrow’s filmmakers, you never know whom you’ll see at LIU Post.

Posted 03/04/2016

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