It’ll be a night of dueling doctors, sort of, when AlterEgo, a band of MDs from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and The Professors, a band of PhDs from Rutgers University, perform a free concert on Thursday, Oct. 22 as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days celebration at Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick.

The concert, which will begin at 8 p.m., will mark the sixth straight year that the Daniel Pearl Education Center committee at Temple B’nai Shalom has hosted a free concert as part of Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international celebration marking the contributions to community and understanding of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by extremists while researching a story in Pakistan in 2002.

“This is always a very special and emotional night for us at the Daniel Pearl Education Center,” said Dr. Andrew Boyarsky, chairman of the center’s committee. “While we all love the joy that music provides and the way it brings people together for a concert, it is difficult for us to forget the tragedy of Daniel’s violent death. He stood for community and understanding and, as an accomplished violinist, for bring cultures and people together through music. We remember him and honor him on this night and join with musicians around the world in celebrating Daniel Pearl World Music Days.”

In recent years, the Daniel Pearl Education Center has brought eclectic music to the stage at Temple B’nai Shalom for Daniel Pearl World Music Days. Among the performers and styles of music were Brazilian jazz, classical music and klezmer. This concert will have all the excitement of past concerts, with the added twist of a bit of a friendly rivalry between the two sets of doctors.

“I’m not sure where my allegiance will rest,” Boyarsky said. “As a surgeon, I obviously have a rooting interest for the MDs. But I’m also a clinical professor of medicine, so I have a special place in my heart for the PhDs. This should be a lot of fun — great music for a great cause.”

AlterEgo got its start back in 1997 when nephrologist Andy Covit pulled together an infectious disease specialist, Rick Snepar, a gastroenterologist, a cardiac surgeon, and a biochemistry MD-PhD student  to work on five songs that the band would play at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s “Physicians and their Art” performance night that fall. Today the band — made up of Covit, Snepar, Elio Diaz, Pat Gainey, Lou Perillo, Phil Mach, and Michael Sadowsky — perform regularly at live music bar venues throughout Central Jersey. The band’s music covers all genres of rock and roll, from the 50s through to selection on the charts today.

“We really get a kick out of playing a set with a great old Buffalo Springfield song followed immediately by a new one from the Kings of Leon,” Covit says. “And though we play some of the typical bar band standards, we also love to surprise those listening with some of our more eclectic tunes from artists like Bob Marley, Guster or the Ides of March. It makes for a fun night for all and, in this case, an important and special night as well.”

The  Professors are a group of composing musicians who perform in the  New York and New Jersey area. Also based in Central New Jersey, The Professors bring together rhythms and sounds from a variety of styles to create provocative original and interpretive music with ingredients drawn from the Chicago blues, British psychedelic rock and the classics. Band members are Peter VanEmburg, Senior Software Engineer at Lockheed Martin, on drums; Meg Radford, sophomore pre-vet student at Rutgers University, on guitar and vocals; Gary Radford, Professor of Communication Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University, on guitar; Marie Radford, Associate Professor of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, on keyboards; and Nick Romanenko, Staff Photographer at Rutgers University, on bass.

Speaking for the band, drummer Peter VanEmburg  says, “It is an honor and a privilege for us to participate in this year’s event. The ability to transform a horrific tragedy into a celebration of life is one of the yardsticks of a truly progressive and civilized culture and we are truly grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to that transformation process. Of course, we also relish the opportunity to perform and to rock the house.”

The concert is free, and light refreshments will be served. More information is available by contacting the Temple B’nai Shalom office at 732-251-4300.