Balkans meets El Barrio on June 1 – the 4th Global Mashup this Season!

On Friday, June 1, Flushing Town Hall continues its popular Global Mashups series with Global Mashups #4: Balkans meets El Barrio, featuring Raya Brass Band and the return of Spanglish Fly. Each season, musical artists from across the globe present – and then unite – their melodies in one-of-a-kind performances that are emblematic of Flushing Town Hall’s mission to provide global music to a global community.

Representing the Balkans is Raya Brass Band, a Brooklyn-based group that has energized clubs, international festivals, rooftop parties, and subway cars with its hard-driving, original brass band music since 2008. The six members of the band bring their unique voices to the group, creating a sound informed by their love for the fierce and seductive music of the Balkans and by New Orleans brass bands, punk rock, and global music. Featuring trumpet, sax, accordion, tuba, and percussion, this band wails, sweats, and shouts alongside its audience. Check out Raya Brass Band here.

The band is comprised of Greg Squared (saxophone), Ben Syversen (trumpet), Matthew “Max” Fass (accordion), Steven Duffy (tuba), Nezih Antakli (percussion), and Rich Stein (percussion). The New York Times raves that “this Brooklyn collective gleefully upends traditional wedding music of the Balkans and Greece, undercutting regional reeds and brass with decidedly American funk pulse.”

Returning to Flushing for its second Global Mashups show this season is Spanglish Fly, called “part band, part celebration.” The 12 members of the group ignite a party that quickly spreads to the audience. Boogaloo is a mix of Latin soul and R&B that emerged from the clubs, street corners, transistor radios and pool halls of 1960s El Barrio, or Spanish Harlem. Spanglish Fly plays irresistible grooves that blend Afro-Caribbean rhythms with the fervor, feeling, and harmonics of 60s soul, paying tribute to the boogaloo genre while refreshing it for a new generation.

In a review of Ay Que Boogaloo, Spanglish Fly’s new album, NPR applauds the group’s “modern twist on boogaloo [that] explodes with creativity, slick arrangements and gorgeous double-lead-vocals by Mariella Gonzalez and Paloma Muñoz. There’s so much happening, yet it’s seamless in its complexity.”

At each of the five Global Mashup events, audiences of all ages experience musical performances from two different regions, and then watch and listen as the music artists come together on stage for a distinctive third set. Before the start of each performance, audience members participate in dance lessons and are encouraged to jump onto the dance floor again during the performances!

The season’s final show in the series of five is Texas meets Peru on June 15. All dance lessons begin at 7:00 PM, followed by concerts at 8:00 PM.

“It’s amazing to behold how the traditional music of one region can blend seamlessly with the sounds of another region,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. “Each year, we endeavor to make this a unique experience, one you won’t see anywhere else, as artists from across the globe meet for the first time, and then present together.”

Tickets to all shows are $16, and $10 for members and students. Discounts are available when purchasing tickets to multiple Global Mashup performances. You can access details by visiting http://www.flushingtownhall.org/globalmashup or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the new “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.

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Flushing Town Hall’s Queens Jazz Orchestra Celebrates 10th Anniversary on June 29

On Friday, June 29, Flushing Town Hall’s Queens Jazz Orchestra returns to the stage for a special 10th anniversary show in honor of National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Dr. Jimmy Heath. Since 2008, the Queens Jazz Orchestra has performed for thousands of jazz lovers under the direction of Dr. Heath.

“At the age of 91, many of my colleagues have passed, but their memory lives on through their music,” says Dr. Heath. “It is important to have performances like this from the Queens Jazz Orchestra because we don’t want our history to be a mystery, and we want to continue to inspire young people to love jazz.”

The Queens Jazz Orchestra features established jazz heroes and the next generation of greats. Their performances honor music made popular by jazz icons who called Queens their home. The 10th anniversary show will celebrate Jimmy Heath and his life’s journey through jazz.

Looking back on his storied career, Dr. Heath marvels that many of his students are now teaching the next generation. “It is inspiring to see the tradition being passed on continuously,” he says.

Heath’s compositions have been recorded by other legendary artists and jazz greats, including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon. “All I can say is, if you know Jimmy Heath, you know Bop,” Gillespie once quipped.

During his storied career, Queens resident Jimmy Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader. Jimmy has also written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards. He has also composed extended works– seven suites and two string quartets– and he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Flushing Town Hall’s Queens Jazz Orchestra, a group that embodies the deep roots of jazz in our borough,” says Executive & Artistic Director, Ellen Kodadek. “We are proud to be honoring the legendary Jimmy Heath, who has expertly led the Queens Jazz Orchestra since its inception. We will be forever grateful for Dr. Heath’s innumerable contributions to the genre, and we hope jazz lovers will join us to celebrate him with cake and the concert!”

Tickets are $42/$32 members/$20 students and table packages are available for $125/$100 members (reserved table for two with wine and snacks). The event is open to all ages. You can access details by visiting http://www.flushingtownhall.org/ or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Flushing Town Hall Brings 2 Cultures to 1 Stage with Global Mashups #3: Mexico meets Guinea

On Friday, May 18, Flushing Town Hall continues its popular Global Mashups series with Global Mashups #3: Mexico Meets Guinea, featuring Banda de los Muertos and Mandingo Ambassadors. Each season, musical artists from across the globe present – and then unite – their melodies in one-of-a-kind performances that are emblematic of Flushing Town Hall’s mission to provide global music to a global community.

Representing Mexico is Banda de los Muertos, known as New York’s best Mexican banda. In the Mexican state of Sinaloa, brass bands, or bandas, are part of every public celebration. For the past twenty years, Oscar Noriega and Jacob Garchik have kept busy in the jazz and classical world, playing sax, clarinet, and trombone. They both became to be obsessed with the brass band music of Sinaloa – the Mexican state better known for El Chapo than its musical output. Oscar, the son of Mexican immigrants, felt a nostalgic connection to the music of his parents. Jacob, who had no prior knowledge of the music, was fascinated by the intricate arrangements, the dexterity of the brass players and the astounding virtuosity of its sousaphone players.

Realizing that there was no traditional banda in Brooklyn, they decided to start their own. They enlisted players familiar to jazz audiences, including Chris Speed, Jim Black, Curtis Hasselbring, Brian Drye, Ben Holmes Justin Mullens, French Horn player Rachel Drehmann, and singer Mireya Ramos of Mariachi Flor de Toloache fame.

The Mandingo Ambassadors, founded in New York by guitarist Mamady Kouyaté in 2005, bring music from Guinea. A veteran of the great orchestras of the golden age of Guinean dance bands (Kélétigui et ses Tambourini, Balla et ses Balladin, Bembeya Jazz) Mamady is a living library of musical science inherited from his griot ancestors and a half-century of experience as an accomplished arranger, band leader, accompanist and soloist in Guinea. Mamady carried the torch to New York where he steadily and diligently went about re-building this glorious sound.

The group’s line-up features Mamady Kouyaté on lead guitar, Andy Algire on drums, Nicholas Cudahy on bass, Mamady Kourouma on rhythm guitar, Oran Etkin on tenor sax and clarinet, Eudy Fernandez on trumpet, Sylvain Leroux on alto sax and flute; and Guinean star singer Bebe Camara.

At Global Mashup event, audiences of all ages experience musical performances from two different regions, and then watch and listen as the musical artists come together on stage for a distinctive third set. Before the start of each performance, audience members participate in dance lessons and are encouraged to jump onto the dance floor again during the performances!

The season’s last two Global Mashups are: Balkans meets El Barrio on June 1; and, Texas meets Peru on June 15. All dance lessons begin at 7:00 PM, followed by concerts at 8:00 PM.

“It’s amazing to behold how the traditional music of one region can blend seamlessly with the sounds of another region,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. “Each year, we endeavor to make this a unique experience, one you won’t see anywhere else, as artists from across the globe meet for the first time, and then present together.”

Tickets to all shows are $16, and $10 for members and students. Discounts are available when purchasing tickets to multiple Global Mashup performances. You can access details by visiting http://www.flushingtownhall.org/globalmashup or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the new “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.

Flushing Town Hall to Receive $60,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

 

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $60,000 to Flushing Town Hall for performing arts programming. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Flushing Town Hall in Queens, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

“Flushing Town Hall is deeply grateful for the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Executive & Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “This grant will allow us to continue to bring global arts to a global community, and to provide a platform for diverse and talentedlocal, immigrant, national, and international artists.”

The NEA funding will support 17 public performances, 10 school group performances, 13 workshops, and one pop-up exhibition, reaching approximately 6,000 audience members, including 2,500 school children. Approximately 140 artists will be served by the grant.

Flushing Town Hall’s NEA project will examine the theme of “journeys” and the resulting changes they bring. This series of performing and arts education programs will include global music, dance, international children’s theatre, and multidisciplinary family and school programs. The artists selected each have a unique expression of their home culture and the varied influences acquired through their journeys. The series celebrates the making of new connections alongside retaining things of value from one’s origin. A few highlights from the series include:

  • Inkarayku:Linking the past, present, and future of Andean arts, through the performance of indigenous music forms that have evolved into the contemporary mestizo music heard today.
  • FEI Music:A Fusion Music Concert: Award-winning Feifei Yang leads this ensemble, an exciting meeting of Chinese folk instruments with western and popular music.
  • Global Mashups Series: Five evenings, each featuring two dance lessons, two bands each with their own set, culminating in a third “jam” set. This year, Flushing Town Hall will look at specific examples of how cultures came together through migration and resulted in a new form, such as the emergence of the ukulele in Hawaiian music after its introduction by Portuguese sailors.

 

 The theme of “journeys” will resonate with audiences in Queens, where a majority of residents have established new homes at the end of long journeys. The goals of the program are: to expose audiences to a wide range of cultures; to promote discussion among artists and audiences; to celebrate the heritage of our community and its people; and to bring people from different cultures together through the arts. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visitarts.gov/news.

Support for FTH in Fiscal 2019, as of May 8, 2018, $500 and up

Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts dba Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Council Members Adrienne Adams, Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Barry Grodenchik, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, and Paul A. Vallone; and the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

Support for our programs is also provided by Cathay Bank, Michael Cheng / Epos Development, Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou / New York Institute of Culture and the Arts, Con Edison, Crossings TV, Culture Center of TECO in New York, Exploring the Metropolis, Jim Henson Foundation, Kuang-Yu Fong, Barbara Garii, Heather Harrison, Raymond D. Jasen, Ellen Kodadek, Nelson Lee / Flushing Bank, James S. Liao, Emily Lin / Lin & Loveall Foundation, Anita Liu, Arthur Liu, Materials for the Arts, William McClure / Queens College, the NYC & Company Foundation, New York Community Bank Foundation, Northwell Health, Queens Courier, Roslyn Savings Bank, Paul Ru, Mike Sperendi & Jan Schneider, Tina Seligman, Vincent Toomey, Veronica Tsang, Tai Wang, Jay Wegman, Edwina & Eldwin Wong, Minwen Yang, and Hank Yeh.

This engagement of La Patronal is funded through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

This engagement of Rio Mira is funded through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

This engagement of Explosion Negra is funded through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall (FTH) presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City, in order to foster mutual appreciation.  As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts.  As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance.  We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists.  We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world, and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.

For Tickets & More info:

www.flushingtownhall.org

(718) 463-7700 x222

137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11354

 

The Polar Bears are coming to Flushing Town Hall TOMORROW!

The Polar Bears are coming to Flushing Town Hall TOMORROW!

Two intrepid explorers are going up in the world. There aren’t many balloons in the Arctic, so when you find one, it’s precious. And if it gets lost, you must go and find it. The Polar Bears step up and explore unknown territory: the sky above their heads. They climb trees, jump on clouds, and reach for the stars as they race each other all the way into space (and stop for a sandwich along the way, of course).

“The Polar Bears Go Up is a funny, entertaining show for under 5’s and their families and friends,” says Fiona Manson, co-creator who plays Little Polar Bear in the show. “The show has no speaking so is deaf friendly and can be enjoyed by everyone. It has toured the world and is loved by audiences in China, Australia, UK and the United States. The show is gentle and humorous with lots of visual gags and surprises.”

The Polar Bears Go Up is a funny, captivating show that is especially enjoyable for children under the age of five and their families and friends. The performance is entirely visual and can be enjoyed by everyone, with its gentle humor, visual gags, and surprises around every corner.The Polar Bears Go Uphas toured the world and is loved by audiences in China, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and now, Queens! The show is always performed by the original creators/ cast Fiona Manson and Eilidh MacAskill who have known their polar bears characters for a long time now.

“We started the Polar Bears as a walk-about characters at the Imaginate Festival many years ago,” says Manson, who grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. “This slowly developed into a stage show called the Polar Bears Go Wild and after the success of that show we created a new stage show called the Polar Bears Go Up!”

Before the show, join the Polar Bears for an interactive arts workshop with music and dancing, using the music specially created for The Polar Bears Go Up! The performers who play the Polar Bears will lead participants on a fun journey, exploring the themes from the show. Get ready to move and dance and shake your bottom like a polar bear. Space is limited, so sign up early.

The Polar Bears Go Upis presented by The Unicorn, the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences. The Unicorn produces an eclectic program of work year-round for children aged 6 months to 18 years. Based at London Bridge, the theatre aims to connect artists and audiences through a broad range of work that is honest, refreshing and international in outlook, across a range of disciplines.

The Unicorn presents and tours around twenty shows each year, in the UK and abroad, to around 80,000 children and their parents, and works extensively with schools and in the community to invite children from all cultures into a conversation about art and the world we live in.

Tickets to the 2:15 PM show are $14/$10 for members and students/$8 for children/$6 member children. You can access details by visiting http://www.flushingtownhall.orgor by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.

Composer-in-Residence Arun Luthra to Perform the World Premiere of “Monarchs of Queens” on April 28

On Saturday, April 28, Flushing Town Hall Composer-in-Residence Arun Luthra will present with his band, Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project, the world premiere of the music he composed during his Exploring the Metropolis (EtM) Con Edison residency.

The music is inspired by Queens’s extraordinary yet little known jazz history. Queens has been the home to many of jazz’s most iconic artists, including Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Jimmy Heath, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley.

Arun Luthra’s music blends jazz with Indian classical rhythms, which he performs vocally using the art form konnakol, a reflection of his South Asian heritage. This cultural fusion in Luthra’s music highlights and celebrates the diversity of Queens and of the musicians who call it home. Arun Luthra was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to an Indian father and a British mother. He began his formal music training in Belgium at age nine, studying European classical guitar. He eventually focused on the saxophone and began an active performing and writing career, subsequently adding konnakol to his musical repertoire.

Performing with Arun Luthra on saxophones and konnakol are James Francies on piano, Sam Minaie on bass, and Kenny Grohowski on drums. (You can get a taste of his group’s music here.)

This composition was created with the support of the E.t.M. Con Edison Composer Residencies, administered by Exploring the Metropolis. This concert is made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

This free performance (RSVP requested) is on Saturday, April 28 at 6:00 PM at Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing.

Flushing Town Hall asked Luthra about his career and upcoming presentation.

What can an audience expect to experience at your performance?

The concert will be a world premiere of the music I have composed during my E.t.M. composer’s residency at F.T.H.  The music is celebration of Queens’s jazz history, having been home to many of jazz’s greatest and most iconic figures, as well as a reflection of modern Queens’s unsurpassed cultural diversity.  My music blends jazz (perhaps the original “fusion music”) with Indian classical music rhythms.  In addition to my saxophone playing, and the piano, bass, and drums in my group, the audience can look forward to hearing me perform these Indian classical music rhythms vocally using the art form of konnakol.

Tell us about you – how you started as a musician?

I have loved and wanted to play music for as long as I can remember.  I was lucky enough to have grown up hearing all kinds of music from the very earliest age, from Indian and European classical music, to jazz, to the rock ‘n’ roll records of my older brother and sister, to everything else in between.  I took classical guitar lessons at a young age as I wanted to play guitar like my older brother.  From there, I explored more and more music and musical instruments, until I finally settled on the saxophone and konnakol (Indian classical music vocalized rhythms) as my two vehicles for musical performance.

Where did you grow up?

I am fortunate to have an international and multicultural family, upbringing, and life.  I was born in Massachusetts, and moved to Belgium when I was about 3 years old, and I returned to live in the U.S. right before high school.  I spent time both on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. during my teenage years.  I finally settled in New York City when I came here to study for my degree in jazz performance at The New School.  My father’s family is from India, and he was born in Kenya.  My mother’s family is British, and she was raised in eastern, central, and southern Africa, as well as in Britain, France, and Belgium.  These varied international and multicultural influences have enriched my life immeasurably, and have a deep effect of my music.  Since moving to New York City I have lived in Morningside Heights and Chelsea in Mahnattan, Boerum Hill in Brooklyn, and I have called Astoria, Queens home since 2000.

What do you hope audiences discover at your event?

I hope my audience will be delighted to discover the art form of konnakol (Indian classical music vocalized rhythms), and how it blends so beautifully with jazz.  I also hope that my piece “Monarchs of Queens” will instill a new awareness and delight in my audience of what an incredible jazz history Queens has, and instill a sense of pride in Queens residents and New Yorkers in the amazing cultural legacy of Queens.

What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you? 

Having a sense of history, and of how my work connects to the legacy and history of the music I play, has always been very important to me.  Flushing Town Hall is one of those historic venues which connects the artists who perform there to the history and legacy of the music.  To be a part of that as a composer and performer is deeply moving, and instills in me a great sense of responsibility and of pride.

What is on the horizon for you?

I am working on recording an album of my band, Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project, as well as continuing to tour with the band.  I am also continuing my collaborations with Indian classical music masters and collaborating with them on various projects.

What has it mean for you to be a composer in residence at Flushing Town Hall?

Flushing Town Hall is such a historic venue, and there is such a strong sense of history being there, touching the walls, breathing the air.  It’s deeply moving to think of all the great artists who have performed at Flushing Town Hall, and the countless audience members who have attended performances there.  To work at Flushing Town Hall is to feel connected to that history and to those great artists, which is a deeply inspiring and joyful feeling.

What has being an EtM Con Edison Composer-in-Residence meant to you?

To be recognized as a composer by EtM is wonderfully gratifying.  Institutional recognition and financial support for my work as a composer affords me the opportunity to compose larger-scale works, and it brings me greater exposure and recognition from colleagues, arts institutions, and audiences.  I couldn’t be happier or prouder to have been awarded an EtM Con Edison Composer’s residency.

Enjoy Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project – “Monarchs of Queens” – on April 28

Flushing Town Hall 2017-2018 composer-in-residence Arun Luthra presents with his band, Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project, the world premiere of the music he is composing during his Exploring the Metropolis composer’s residency. The music tells the story of Queens’s extraordinary, yet little known, jazz history – Queens having been home to many of jazz’s greatest and most iconic figures, including Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderley.

Arun Luthra’s music blends jazz with Indian classical music rhythms, which he performs vocally with the art form of konnakol, a reflection of his South Asian heritage.  This cultural fusion in Luthra’s music highlights and celebrates modern Queens’s unsurpassed diversity, and the musicians who call it home today.  With Arun Luthra – saxophones & konnakol, James Francies – piano, Evan Gregor – bass, Kenny Grohowski – drums.

This composition was created with the support of the E.t.M. Con Edison Composer Residencies, administered by Exploring the Metropolis.  This concert is made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNblfLDgZw8

Flushing Town Hall Presents The Polar Bears Go Up on Saturday, April 28

The Polar Bears are coming to Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, April 28! Two intrepid explorers are going up in the world. There aren’t many balloons in the Arctic, so when you find one, it’s precious. And if it gets lost, you must go and find it. The Polar Bears step up and explore unknown territory: the sky above their heads. They climb trees, jump on clouds, and reach for the stars as they race each other all the way into space (and stop for a sandwich along the way, of course).

Presented by the UK’s The Unicorn, The Polar Bears Go Up is a funny, captivating show that is especially enjoyable for children under the age of five and their families and friends. The performance is entirely visual and can be enjoyed by everyone, with its gentle humor, visual gags, and surprises around every corner. The Polar Bears Go Up has toured the world and is loved by audiences in China, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and now, Queens!

Before the show, join the Polar Bears for an interactive arts workshop with music and dancing, using the music specially created for The Polar Bears Go Up! The performers who play the Polar Bears will lead participants on a fun journey, exploring the themes from the show. Get ready to move and dance and shake your bottom like a polar bear. Space is limited, so sign up early.

The Polar Bears Go Up is presented by The Unicorn, the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences. The Unicorn produces an eclectic program of work year-round for children aged 6 months to 18 years. Based at London Bridge, the theatre aims to connect artists and audiences through a broad range of work that is honest, refreshing and international in outlook, across a range of disciplines.

The Unicorn presents and tours around twenty shows each year, in the UK and abroad, to around 80,000 children and their parents, and works extensively with schools and in the community to invite children from all cultures into a conversation about art and the world we live in.

You can view The Polar Bears Go Up trailer here.

Tickets to the interactive arts workshop at 12:30 PM are $8/$5 for children/free for members with tickets to the 2:15 PM show. Tickets to the 2:15 PM show are $14/$10 for members and students/$8 for children/$6 member children. You can access details by visiting http://www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the new “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.

Queens Jazz OverGround Presents Sixth Annual Spring Jazz Fest on April 14

The Queens Jazz OverGround, a collective that promotes jazz performance and education in the borough of Queens, will present our 2018 Spring Jazz Fest, a free, daylong series of jazz workshops and performances.  All events will take place at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, April 14th from 12:15 pm – 10:00pm, 137-35 Northern Blvd (corner of Linden Place), Flushing, NY.

The annual event highlights the talents of the many renowned and emerging jazz instrumentalists & vocalists in the borough of Queens. The day will include performances by student jazz combos, jazz master classes open to all students and aspiring performers, and middle school and high school student bands.  The evening will feature an exciting lineup of six professional Queens-based jazz ensembles. Audiences are welcome at all workshops and performances, which are free and open to the public.

To create a more inclusive experience, we are integrating the educational and professional components of our schedule.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

 Educational Events

  • Master Classes – Members of the Queens Jazz OverGround will guide students in developing a basic jazz repertoire and then lead a jam session utilizing that repertoire. Open to all.
  • Student Performers – Student big bands and small combos from Queens based schools will perform and participate in clinics with professional jazz musicians. Audiences are welcome at all performances and clinics.

Professional Performances

  • 3:00 pm –Jazz Triangle 65-77
  • 3:45 pm – Steve Kortyka Quartet
  • 6:45 pm – Daisuke Abe Quartet
  • 7:30 pm – Bogna Kicińska Quintet
  • 8:00 pm – Ron Horton/Hashem Assadullahi Quartet
  • 8:45 pmThe OKB Trio, celebrating their new release, “The Ing…,” the first on QJOG Records

For more details, see below and please visit www.queensjazz.org or email queensjazzoverground@gmail.com. For directions to Flushing Town Hall, visit http://www.flushingtownhall.org/visiting/directions.php.

About Queens Jazz OverGround

The Queens Jazz OverGround  (QJOG), an artists’ collective, is a not-for-profit organization. QJOG supports the professional growth of jazz artists in Queens, provides musical enrichment and education to local communities, and helps to stimulate wider awareness of Queens as a destination for arts and culture. QJOG offers low- or no-cost jazz performances in Queens for diverse audiences; supports young and emerging artists by providing jazz education; and promotes the work of local jazz artists and composers.

About Flushing Town Hall

The Queens Jazz OverGround is proud to present this event in collaboration with Flushing Town Hall, a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts (FCCA) is a revitalizing force for its community and a creative catalyst for developing and promoting the arts throughout the borough of Queens in New York City. Each year, FCCA presents an array of high quality arts and educational programs at Flushing Town Hall, as well as providing vital services to local artists, arts organizations and community residents. FCCA offers a range of programming, including musical, dance and theatrical performances and exhibitions of diverse cultures from around the world. FCCA collaborates with the Smithsonian to bring artifacts, scholars, and educational programs to Flushing.

The Queens Jazz OverGround’s 2018 Spring Jazz Fest is supported (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council.