Music Under The Stars: Moonflower Spirit of Santana plays Syosset-Woodbury Community Park


by Ethan Brown

With chairs and appetites for good music, hundreds showed up at the Syosset-Woodbury Community Park.
The Music Under the Stars program from the Town of Oyster Bay, a free summer concert series, returned. Everyone was looking forward to it. Pat Beckerly, the Deputy Commissioner for the Town’s Department of Community and Youth Services, said, “They enjoy coming to our music under the stars because they can sit, they can relax, and we provide this free to our residents. We feel that our residents are wonderful and we want to provide some entertainment for them.”
Normally a public park, the Syosset-Woodbury Community Park transformed into an outdoor music venue.
July 8, the audience was particularly excited because the local band Moonflower Spirit of Santana was playing here. Like its name suggests, Moonflower focuses on mainly playing music from Carlos Santana. Born 1947 in Mexico, Santana is a musician with a talent to fuse traditional Latin American music with American blues and rock to produce unique, famous songs.

Nick Sassano, left, and Pat Beckerly, right, had been planning and anticipating this event since January.

Band manager and guitarist Nick Sassano called Santana “one of my top guitar influences. He’s a great human being.”
Throughout the years, the band bonded by playing some incredible songs. “It’s like a family, it really is. We really get along well with each other,” said Nick Sassano.
During the concert Moonflower played all of Santana’s biggest hits in his career, spanning five decades. The band plays many songs from Santana’s most famous album, Supernatural.
It was common to see people dancing along to the beat of the music. The end of every song was unanimously met with a round of applause. An audience member, Swatick, said “Santana is an old favorite. We grew up listening to his music so we want to listen to a tribute band.”

Families otherwise occupied with their busy lives came together to enjoy this concert.

What also was remarkable was the variety of the crowd. Although the majority of the audience members were older, there were people of many ages coming from many places uniting to watch this concert. This, in a way, reflects the music that Moonflower plays, the Music of Carlos Santa, which transcends different cultures, ages, and barriers.
Overall, the concert was a wild success with the crowd wanting Moonflower to come back in the future.

To ensure the event ran smoothly, Town Parks Department employees Joe Reilly and Dmitriy Riebl managed the crowd.

On July 19, Sir Duke, A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, will be playing at 8 p.m. And on July 20, The Princess and the Frog will be shown. Pre-movie activities begin at 6 p.m. Movie begins at sundown.
For more information about Town of Oyster Bay concerts, movie nights and other programs, visit


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