Celebrating APA Heritage Month, Frame by Frame

Flushing Town Hall today announced the selected films to be honored at this year’s Crazy Talented Asians & Friends animation shorts showcase,“Celebrating APA Heritage Month, Frame by Frame,” a YouTube livestream event on Saturday, May 29th at 6:00 PM (EDT). The evening program also features live conversation with the artists to share their stories.

“Flushing Town Hall is excited to continue promoting works by young and emerging Asian-heritage artists with the return of Crazy Talented Asians & Friends. Asian/Asian American artists and their stories need to be heard and cherished, especially in these times,” says Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall’s Executive & Artistic Director. “We have been a strong advocate of arts equity since 1979, supporting local, immigrant, national, and international artists. We develop partnerships and collaborations to bring people together by presenting arts and culture from around the world. Highlighting Asian/Asian American perspectives and talents is an important part of our mission.”

The event premiered in 2020 with great success in viewership and brought a community together through beautifully animated stories, all despite COVID’s challenges. This year’s selected animation shorts, representing the top 4% of the several hundreds of submissions, were chosen by a panel of seasoned film professionals for their extraordinary storytelling, art direction, animation, production, and sound design. In addition to their creative visuals and soundtracks, these films present a range of stories and experiences as diverse as the APA community itself. These include, among others:

  • Harunohi, or Spring Day, is about kindness that while everyone has it, tends to freeze when cold days continue, by Imai Yuka.
  • In the Forest, We Grew, is about two red pandas that set off to build their dream house together in a bamboo forest, by Vincy Guan and Sunnie Moon.
  • Left Unsaid, is about cultural dysphoria and the barriers between a grandfather and grandchild, by Mei Lian Hoe.
  • Mirage, surprises the viewers with a clever use of special effects, by Xiaoli Zhang.
  • Scooped!, tells the story of nine eccentric robbers on a mysterious mission, by Alan Dharmasaputra Wijaya.

This year’s jury is led by Ms. Hsiang Chin Moe, an artist and educator with experience in higher education, production, technology, and management. In addition to being the BFA Animation Chair at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she also serves on the board of Women in Animation as the Chair for Education Program where her direct focus is to provide the support and resources for students as well as educators to reach the goal of gender equity 50/50 by 2025. The jury panel also includes:

  • Wen-Chin Hsu has been a Lighting Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studio since 2008. Before joining Pixar, she had worked for Tippett Studio and ILM. Her work is included in numerous VFX films, animated feature films and she specializes in storytelling using color and lights.
  • Gonzalo Janer is a Colombian character animator and motion graphics artist, currently working at Nickelodeon and teaching animation at ESPOL (Guayaquil – Ecuador). He is passionate about programming and the technical aspects of animation: making art through code and scripting tools to aid his workflow.  
  • Pilar Newton is an animator, cartoonist, and educator. She got her start doing animation production art on shows such as Courage the Cowardly Dog for Cartoon Network and MTV’s Daria. In 2008 she established her Brooklyn-based production company PilarToons, LLC. Pilar also teaches animation at the City College of New York and the School of Visual Arts.
  • CJ Walker is an illustrator and background artist currently based in NYC. They currently work at Titmouse NY as a background designer and layout artist, but have also been a background painter, character layout artist, prop designer, risograph printer, and perspective teacher. 
  • Wendy Cong Zhao is an independent artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She has been working and teaching in the animation field since 2011. She started her career as an editor and compositor at Signe Baumane’s Studio. She also worked as the senior producer at Bill Plympton Studio. Her animated documentary “My First Sessions” was published by The New Yorker. She recently directed two music videos for Verve Records.

“It is my extreme honor to celebrate APA Heritage Month with an amazing selection of animated films. Special thanks to all the filmmakers for sharing their stories with our audience and inviting us on a journey of imagination. Their talent is a true representation of how unique and creative Asian-American filmmakers are, and the celebration is expanded to all the Asian creators in the world,” says Hsiang Chin Moe, Lead Advisor.

“Flushing Town Hall is proud to continue amplifying Asian/Asian American voices by providing a platform for young and talented animators to showcase their works and fostering creative dialogues about storytelling with animation form,” says Ya Yun Teng, Flushing Town Hall’s Chinese Projects Director. “It was especially heartwarming to see how the event brought people of different backgrounds together during this unprecedented global pandemic.”

This year’s Selected Animation Shorts are listed below. The program on May 29th will only screen some of the selected film, due to limited time.

  • 3:45 PM,” Alisha Liu
  • #hAPPy,” Yu-Ju Kuo and Huiching Tseng
  • A Poem in Bamboo,” Chun-Yao Chang and XuFei Wu
  • Back to the Source,” Sandra Lucille
  • BEYOND THE LINE,” IJinuk Choi
  • Ducky,” Winnie Wu
  • FIRE,” Ofer Bambino Jacoby
  • Half a Saba,” Ben Molina
  • Happy Year of the Rat 2020,” Lei Lei
  • Harunohi,” Imai Yuka
  • In the Forest, We Grew,” Vincy Guan and Sun Woo Moon
  • Left Unsaid,” Mei Lian Hoe
  • Mirage,” Xiaoli Zhang
  • NoWhereMan,” CK Lu
  • Outgrow,” Ollie Yao
  • Pyramid,” Ihsu Yoon
  • Scooped!,“ Alan Dharmasaputra Wijaya
  • Seeing Blind,” Jazmine Lee
  • Signal Lingers,” Harry Chen
  • Stage-Fright,” Yuyang Zhang
  • Take Out,” Moksha Rao
  • The Boundaryless Night,” Li-Wei Hsu
  • The Organized Life,” Yu Wang
  • The River,” Ping An Huang
  • Video Letter,” Moon Wang
  • Winter Bath,” Jingpei Xiao

Register for this free event here: https://flushingtownhall.org/crazy-talented-asians-friends-animation-shorts

Crazy Talented Asians & Friends is a community-led program series dedicated to works by Asian/Asian Americans—to showcase the diverse creativity and impact this community has to offer, while bringing together families, friends, and audiences from different backgrounds to celebrate their stories.

Presenting Afro-Cuban Jazz Power Duo OKAN

On May 14, Flushing Town Hall presents the award-winning, contemporary duo OKAN in a virtual performance for audiences across the globe. Co-leaders Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne will be available for a live Q&A after the performance.

Taking their name from the word for “heart” in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, OKAN is a women-led ensemble that fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk, and global rhythms in songs about immigration, courage and love.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Elizabeth Rodriguez is a classically trained violinist who served as concertmaster for Havana’s Youth Orchestra. Magdelys Savigne hails from Santiago de Cuba and graduated with honours in orchestral percussion from Havana’s University of the Arts. Both are also Grammy-nominated artists for their contributions to Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, of which they are former members.

Having recently worked with Bomba Estereo, Lido Pimienta, and Bianca Gismonti, OKAN follows up on their Juno-nominated and Independent Music Award-winning debut album Sombras, with their sophomore release Espiral, out on the Lulaworld Records label.​ The Juno award is the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy award in the US and is awarded annually to outstanding musicians.

​CBC Music says “Espiral, the astonishing followup to their Juno-nominated 2019 debut, push[es] Latin jazz into new and unexpected territories…[Espiral is] lush and vibrant, urgent but specific and deeply intentional.”

On  May 14 at 7:00 PM (ET), Flushing Town Hall will be streaming OKAN’s performance on their YouTubeChannel and band co-leaders Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne will be available for a live Q&A after the stream. The performance will be only available to ticketed viewers. Tickets are available online for $5 ($6 total including $1 convenience fee).

Flushing Town Hall Virtual Jazz Jam Honors Mothers in May

More than one year into its online programming, Flushing Town Hall’s virtual Jazz Jams continue strong with hundreds of participants and thousands of viewers from across the globe and close to home. In May, the cultural nonprofit’s Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong returns with the theme “Hey Momma! Grandma! Bobe!”— songs by and for mothers or about motherhood, especially Jewish mothers as it is also Jewish American Heritage month, on Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00 PM (ET).

“Our virtual music event has been a wild and illuminating ride! I hear the same reaction from the 120+ musicians and singers who have participated: initial reluctance, followed by a feeling of ecstasy once they’ve done it: delighted to have had a project to focus on, happy at having learned something new, and an instant request to do it again asap,” says Carol Sudhalter, Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz Band leader. “Like me, most thought they could not handle, or did not care to delve into, the virtual aspects of music performance. We all missed our bands. But the pandemic forced us into new dimensions: arranging, using video, learning to use home recording tools, overdubbing, thinking in new combinations of sound and musical colors.”

Since going online in April 2020, the Jazz Jams have been popular monthly features, reaching more than 7,000 viewers, and exceeding 1,700 engagements online and becoming a haven for jazz lovers from around the world with musicians joining from across the U.S. and from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Ireland, Trinidad and Japan.

Flushing Town Hall’s monthly Jazz Jam is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and has been led since 2016 by Astoria resident Carol Sudhalter. House band members include illustrious musicians such as Joe Vincent Tranchina, Scott Neumann and Eric Lemon, who pay tribute to the great Louis Armstrong, performing songs associated with the legendary trumpeter/vocalist every month. Every month, jazz musicians have come together to play tunes reflecting each month’s theme.

Musicians interested in participating on May 12, 2021 should email education@flushingtownhall.org with the suggested three- to four-minute tune they intend to play in line with this month’s theme “Hey Momma! Grandma! Bobe!” –songs by and for mothers or about motherhood, especially Jewish mothers as it is also Jewish American Heritage month. The performance can be live or a pre-recorded audio or video (but not a professional, edited recording such as a CD or YouTube video).

Musicians who performed in 2020 are now welcome to return. Each month, up to five returning musicians and up to 15 new musicians can participate. Selection is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Anyone is invited to listen and can simply tune in to Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook page or Zoom on Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00 PM (ET) to join the live event for free, without registration.

“Triumphing Over Quarantine”

Flushing Town Hall today announced the return of Crazy Talented Asians & Friends: anevening of live comedy – “Triumphing Over Quarantine!” on Saturday, April 17, 2021, as a celebratory prelude to the upcoming Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Highlighting Asian American perspectives and experiences during the global pandemic, the virtual event kicks off at 8:00 PM (EDT).  Rising East and South Asian American comedy talents will share their struggles and triumphs over the pandemic through sketch and stand-up comedy.

Recommended for ages 13 and up. Register for this free event here: https://www.flushingtownhall.org/crazy-talented-asians-friends-live-comedy

Mr. Otter Lee, who plays Otter Lin on Stephen Colbert Presents: Tooning Out the News, returns to host this exciting event. He will be joined by Overstep Comedy whose Manhattan shows frequently sell out, and other talented comedians and special guests, including: Jatin Chhugani, Patricia Dinglasan, Vivek Netrakanti,Becky Yamamoto, and Angel Yau.

The event will also pay tribute to Corky Lee, the legendary photographer who passed away due to COVID-19 on January 27, 2021. As the Times reported, “Corky Lee, a photographer who was determined both to restore the contributions of Asian-Americans to the historical record and to document their present-day lives and struggles, especially those living in New York.”

Furthermore, the event will also feature the NYC Chinatown community, and feature Patrick Mock, the manager of 46 Mott Bakery which has been delivering meals to hospitals and the elderly since the onset of the pandemic.

“Our stories need to be heard and comedy is an amazing art form to address the experiences unique to being Asian. As the actress Sandra Oh once said ‘It’s an honor just to be Asian’ and I feel so honored to be a part of the CTAF show and this community,” says contributing comedian Patricia Dinglasan.

Jatin Chhugani is a Brooklyn based comedian and writer. He is a founding member of Overstep Comedy, a NY-based Asian American sketch team. Jatin has performed in several virtual stand-up shows throughout the Covid pandemic. He was recently featured on Buzzfeed India for a meme about the Netflix show Indian Matchmaking.

Patricia Dinglasan is a stand-up comedian performing anywhere she can during the pandemic. Her comedy videos “Mom-Lan”, “Fashion Looks for Remote Learning” and tweets appeared on WhoHaHa and her stand up was featured in The Fil-Am, A Magazine for Filipino Americans.

Otter Lee is an actor, playwright, comedian, and voiceover artist born and raised in New York City. He currently plays Otter Lin on Stephen Colbert Presents: Tooning Out the News, a political cartoon on Paramount+ that airs as part of The Late Show. Otter co-produced, hosted, and took the stage for New York City’s First Asian Comedy Festival at the PIT in January 2020. His sketch, standup, and improv have appeared at such venues as the Upright Citizens Brigade, Face-Off Unlimited, Caveat, Union Hall, The Magnet, The Asian American Writer’s Workshop, and Buzzfeed. Otter’s performances and projects have been written up and featured in The New York Times, Time Out New York, AsianCrush, and World Journal.

Vivek Netrakanti is a writer and stand up comedian. He produces and performs in the show Token White Guy at Carolines on Broadway as well as Q.E.D. He has also been a featured performer for the NYC Asian Comedy Festival as well as stand up at Broadway Comedy Club, the Upright Citizens Brigade, the Magnet Theater, Caveat, and the People’s Improv Theater among other locations. He has written and performed sketch comedy as part of the collective

Boogiemanja and he has also written sketches for Upright Citizens Brigade and the Magnet Theater.

Becky Yamamoto is a comedian, actor and writer. Her webseries UNINSPIRED was an official NYTVF selection and received acclaim from The Onion AV Club, Indiewire, Mic, Bust and Glamour. She also co-wrote and costarred in 2 Chans with Meghan O’Neill which won Best Actress (Comedy) at NYTVF. She has appeared in independent films such as Fort Tilden (SXSW Grand Jury Prize Winner) and 3rd St. Blackout (LA Film Festival) as well as Younger (TV Land).

Angel Yau is a comedian, storyteller, actor and filmmaker from Queens, New York.

She started her comedy career (unintentionally) in high school when she ran for school council. From then she knew how to laugh at herself. She founded Asian American Film Thing, an all AAPI film show where filmmakers are encouraged to show Work in Progress.  She is also proudly in the all-woman, all Asian-American musical comedy, AzN PoP! Angel just had a BBC short doc out on being a comedian dealing with mental health.  Angel’s dream is to have a special with her animations, comedy acts and her pug, Mush! 

Overstep Comedy is an indie sketch team dedicated to increasing representation in comedy and amplifying the voices of Asian-Americans in entertainment. Pre-pandemic life: The team regularly sold out live performances in New York, including shows as a headliner of the first-ever Asian Comedy Festival at the People’s Improv Theater (2020) and as a featured act at Sketchfest at the PIT (2019). Overstep Comedy went virtual in 2020 with sketches featured in virtual shows with the PIT, Seattle Sketchfest. Overstep has been featured in The New York Times and Time Out New York. The group also writes and produces digital shorts for their YouTube channel.

On the following month, Crazy Talented Asians will present its 2nd annual animation shorts program on Saturday, May 29th at 6:00 PM, in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The evening will feature creative animated short films by Asian/Asian American artists. The event premiered in 2020 with great success despite COVID’s challenges and brought the community together through beautifully animated stories. The shorts are selected by a panel of professional juries from more than 600 entries for their superb art direction, storytelling, animation, production, and sound design. These films present a wide range of stories and experiences, as diverse as the APA community itself.  The jury is led by Ms. Hsiang Chin Moe, SVA’s BFA Animation Chair and Lead Advisor for this event. The jury includes a panel of seasoned professionals in animation arts: Wen-Chin Hsu at Pixar, Gonzalo Janer at Nickelodeon, Pilar Newton at Pilar Toons, CJ Walker at Titmouse, and Wendy Cong Zhao at CUNY Queens College.  Stay tuned for more information. Register for this free event here: https://flushingtownhall.org/ctaf-2021

“Flushing Town Hall is very proud to be sharing with the world these creative stories from young, talented artists in two very powerful art forms,” says Ya Yun Teng, Community Outreach – Chinese Project Director at Flushing Town Hall. “We have been a strong advocate of arts equity since 1979. We support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts in supporting the global arts community,” says Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall’s Executive & Artistic Director. “With the rising anti-Asian incident reports, it is even more critical at this unprecedented moment for the community to come together to listen and to support our fellow Americans.”

Final Week to See: Call and Response: Grief, Resiliency and Hope

This is the final week to see Flushing Town Hall’s outdoor community art exhibition, Call and Response: Grief, Resiliency and Hope, which gives people an opportunity to express their feelings about this moment in our nation’s history and hopes for the future. The last day of the exhibition is Friday, April 2.

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, Flushing Town Hall distributed 500 art kits to students and community residents to encourage participation in the historic institution’s outdoor exhibition. More than 200 pieces were submitted—from amateur and professional local artists and others as far away as the United Kingdom—until this past Friday, when the submission period ended.

“We have been incredibly moved by the outpouring of artwork from students and the community, artwork that displays hope and promise as we begin to envision an end to the pandemic,” said Flushing Town Hall Director of Education and Public Programs Gabrielle M. Hamilton.  “This season, we invited participants to look to a more hopeful future; even as we still grieve for those we lost. With determination, and in honor of those we lost, we look to rebuild a more resilient, inspired, and courageous community. We invited participants of all ages and abilities to create art that shows their artistic vision of a better tomorrow.”

Flushing Town Hall provided the art kits to schools in Queens – including P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights and P.S. 22 in Flushing – and La Jornada, the Queens-based food pantry that supports hunger insecure individuals and families.

Flushing Town Hall first launched Call and Response: Grief, Resiliency and Hope last summer, allowing people to display their art on the institution’s fence on Northern Boulevard. On February 1, 2021, the venue re-opened the exhibition and began soliciting new artwork in time for the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Ox, and its associated characteristics of diligence, strength and determination are skills that help build resiliency, allowing us to recover quickly from difficulties.

Amateur and professional artists were invited to explore these concepts artistically in the exhibition, and encouraged to consider creating art that answers questions such as: As I face the new year, what skills do I want to cultivate in myself to create a resilient community? What inspires me and others to be hopeful? How can I honor the memory of someone I lost last year by living a courageous life? How can I artistically connect with my diverse community and bring people together?    

Flushing Town Hall continues to showcase individual pieces of the artwork on Flushing Town Hall’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter platforms, and on Flushing Town Hall’s Cultural Crossroads blog

Flushing Town Hall’s FTH At Home! virtual programming is presented for free to the general public but donations in any amount are appreciated to support the artists and the nonprofit cultural organization as they continue to provide programming and entertainment across New York and the world.

Celebrating Jazz Appreciation and Poetry Month with a Jazz Jam

Marking one year since going online amid the pandemic, our wildly popular monthly Jazz Jams continue to draw participants from across the globe and close to home. This April, the cultural gem will celebrate both National Jazz Appreciation Month and Poetry Month with its Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 PM (ET).

Since going online in April 2020, the Jazz Jams have been popular monthly features, reaching more than 7,000 viewers, and exceeding 1,700 engagements online, and becoming a haven for jazz lovers from around the world with musicians joining from across the U.S. and from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Ireland, Trinidad, and Japan.

“Our virtual music event has been a wild and illuminating ride! I hear the same reaction from the 120+ musicians and singers who have participated: initial reluctance, followed by a feeling of ecstasy once they’ve done it: delighted to have had a project to focus on, happy at having learned something new, and an instant request to do it again asap,” says Carol Sudhalter, Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz Band leader. “Like me, most thought they could not handle, or did not care to delve into, the virtual aspects of music performance. We all missed our bands. But the pandemic forced us into new dimensions: arranging, using video, learning to use home recording tools, overdubbing, thinking in new combinations of sound and musical colors.”

Our monthly Jazz Jam is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and has been led since 2016 by Astoria resident Carol Sudhalter. House band members include illustrious musicians such as Joe Vincent Tranchina, Scott Neumann and Eric Lemon, who pay tribute to the great Louis Armstrong, performing songs associated with the legendary trumpeter/vocalist every month. Every month, jazz musicians have come together to play tunes reflecting each month’s theme.

Musicians interested in participating on April 14, 2021 should email education@flushingtownhall.org with the suggested three- to four-minute tune they intend to play. The performance can be live or a pre-recorded audio or video (but not a professional, edited recording such as a CD or YouTube video).

Musicians who performed in 2020 are now welcome to return. Each month, up to five returning musicians and up to 15 new musicians can participate. Selection is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Anyone is invited to listen and can simply tune in to Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook page or Zoom on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 PM (ET) to join the live event for free, without registration.

Flushing Town Hall Celebrates March with Dynamic Events, Including – Live from our Stage – a “Songbirds” Tribute

This March, Flushing Town Hall raises the virtual curtain on a series of amazing jazz performances in celebration of Women’s History Month from its own stage and with co-presented programs from Baltimore and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Flushing Town Hall has a long history of presenting strong jazz programming and has expanded its audience across the globe through virtual programming since the pandemic closed its doors one year ago. Although audiences are still not permitted into the beautiful theatre local performers are now slowly returning back on stage for live-streamed performances. The cultural nonprofit also has increased its collaboration with other performance venues to bring additional programming to its fans.

To conclude Women’s History Month, Flushing Town Hall is presenting Songbirds”A Virtual Tribute to Minnie Riperton, Shirley Horn, and Joni Mitchell by the Mala Waldron Quartet on March 26 at 7:00 PM (ET).

The Mala Waldron Quartet, featuring Mala Waldron—a pianist and vocalist with amazing technical alacrity and sensitivity, and daughter of Jazz Icon Mal Waldron—with Steve Salerno (guitar), Michael T.A. Thompson (drums) and Gene Torres (bass), will perform “Songbirds”—a beautiful journey into a not-so-distant past made popular by Minnie Riperton, Shirley Horn and Joni Mitchell, filled with memorable music and song. Mala has performed all over the world at prestigious music festivals including in Belgium, Russia, Belarus & China, Taiwan and Malaysia. She has performed on some of NYC’s most prestigious stages, including the Iridium Jazz Club, the Blue Note, and the Jazz Standard, and at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

The concert will be performed and streamed live from Flushing Town Hall’s theatre and can be viewed on Flushing Town Hall’s YouTube channel. Audience members can submit questions at any time during the performance for a live Q&A which will be moderated by Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz Producer Clyde Bullard after the show. This performance is ticketed and prior purchase ($5.00, plus a $1.00 convenience fee) is required to view the performance online.

Flushing Town Hall will co-present two outstanding jazz events in March: On Friday, March 5, 2021 at 6:00 PM (ET) Flushing Town Hall will be co-streaming the performance of Victor Provost and Alex Brown Quartet live from the St. John School for the Arts in the US Virgin Islands. Victor Provost, one of the world’s leading voices on the unique, and often misunderstood, steelpan, and Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Alex Brown, who is quickly emerging at the forefront of a new generation of artists, co-lead a quartet that marries Jazz sensibilities with Caribbean swagger.

Roots rhythms, swing, and soaring improvisations abound and the Trinidadian steelpan takes center stage as the quartet features original compositions alongside the beloved music of Chick Correa, Bob Marley, Vince Mendoza, and more. Audiences can RSVP for free to enjoy this performance on YouTube. Prior to the performance is a Zoom talk with the musicians which requires registration. Both Flushing Town Hall and St. John School for the Arts are selected presenting members of Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Jazz Touring Network.

And, on March 20, 2021 at 8:00 PM (ET), the cultural nonprofit celebrates Women’s History Month with Songs of Freedom, love and inspiration of the genius women who have shaped music—including Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba, Roberta Flack, Abbey Lincoln, Alice Coltrane and more—performed by jazz vocalist Akua Allrich & The Tribe. Flushing Town Hall is a Presenting Partner for this outstanding performance, which will be live-streamed from the Creative Alliance Theater in Baltimore, Maryland.

Both Flushing Town Hall and Creative Alliance are selected presenting members of Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Jazz Touring Network. Akua Allrich is a vocalist beyond measure. A musical treasure with a massive stage personality and vocal style that is fluid and ever-evolving, her musical roots run deep into soul, and rhythm and blues, with a clear grounding in jazz and pan-African music. Along with her ensemble, The Tribe, she has received accolades for her annual events honoring the defining female voices of Black music. This performance is ticketed and prior purchase is required to view the performance online.

Also in March is the return of Flushing Town Hall’s popular monthly Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong, which is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and has been led by Astoria resident Carol Sudhalter. House band members include illustrious musicians such as Joe Vincent Tranchina, Scott Neumann and Eric Lemon, who pay tribute to the great Louis Armstrong, performing songs associated with the legendary trumpeter/vocalist every month. 

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 PM (ET), in honor of Women’s History Month and Irish-American Heritage Month, the monthly Jazz Jam will embrace the theme, “Luck be a Lady or Irish!” where participants will perform tunes about luck or by Irish composers.

Musicians interested in participating should email education@flushingtownhall.org with the suggested three- to four-minute tune they intend to play. The performance can be live or a pre-recorded audio or video (but not a professional, edited recording such as a CD or YouTube video). Musicians who previously performed are now welcome to return. Selection is on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone is invited to listen and can simply tune in to Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook page or Zoom on Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00 PM (ET) to join the live event for free, without registration.

Celebrating Women’s History Month and Irish-American Heritage Month at our Monthly Jazz Jam on March 10

Photo credit: Gus Philippas

This March, in celebration of Women’s History Month and Irish-American Heritage Month, Flushing Town Hall’s popular monthly Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong  will embrace the theme, “Luck be a Lady or Irish! where participants will perform tunes about luck or by Irish composers on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 PM (EST). The March Jazz Jam will feature the performance of up to 15 musicians who are invited to jam.

Every month, jazz musicians have come together for the Jazz Jam to play tunes reflecting each month’s theme. Since going online, the Jazz Jams have reached more than 7,000 viewers, and exceeded 1,700 engagements online—numbers that surpassed the participation and capacity of the venue during previous in-person sessions. The Jazz Jam has truly become a haven for jazz lovers from around the world!

The series are among Flushing Town Hall’s most popular and well-attended events since New York City’s cultural institutions, including theatres, closed one year ago amid the pandemic, and Flushing Town Hall launched dynamic online entertainment, FTH at Home!, bringing together people from across the world while fostering resiliency and hope through music and art.

“Nearly a year has passed since we’ve all actually jammed together in-person at Flushing Town Hall!  While that is stunning to consider, since April 2020 we’ve been playing virtually, and building a community of Jazz musicians and Jazz lovers who lift each other up musically and socially,” says Gabrielle M. Hamilton, Flushing Town Hall’s Director of Education and Public Programming. “We made new friends too—well-beyond New York—musicians from across the U.S., and across the seas—from Italy, Australia, Guinea and beyond. We invite everyone—amateur and professional Jazz musicians and music lovers to join us and stay connected.”

Flushing Town Hall’s monthly Jazz Jam is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and has been led by Astoria resident Carol Sudhalter. House band members include illustrious musicians such as Joe Vincent Tranchina, Scott Neumann and Eric Lemon, who pay tribute to the great Louis Armstrong, performing songs associated with the legendary trumpeter/vocalist every month.

“Our virtual music event has been a wild and illuminating ride! I hear the same reaction from the 120+ musicians and singers who have participated: initial reluctance, followed by a feeling of ecstasy once they’ve done it: delighted to have had a project to focus on, happy at having learned something new, and an instant request to do it again asap,” says Carol Sudhalter, Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz Band leader. “Like me, most thought they could not handle, or did not care to delve into, the virtual aspects of music performance. We all missed our bands. But the pandemic forced us into new dimensions: arranging, using video, learning to use home recording tools, overdubbing, thinking in new combinations of sound and musical colors.”

Musicians interested in participating on March 10, 2021 should email education@flushingtownhall.org with the suggested three- to four-minute tune they intend to play. The performance can be live or a pre-recorded audio or video (but not a professional, edited recording such as a CD or YouTube video).

Musicians who previously performed are now welcome to return. Each month, up to five returning musicians and up to 15 new musicians can participate. Selection is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Anyone is invited to listen and can simply tune in to Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook page or Zoom on Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00 PM (EST) to join the live event for free, without registration.

Flushing Town Hall on the Passing of Jazz Master Chick Corea

Ellen Kodadek, Executive & Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall, has issued the following statement in response to the death of Chick Corea:

“Flushing Town Hall expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of NEA Jazz Master Chick Corea and tothe jazz community at large. He was a cherished contributor to the rich, jazz history of our borough of Queens, alongside Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Heath, John Coltrane, and many other jazz legends.

Chick Corea lived in Cambria Heights, Queens many years ago at 114-73 227th Street, and he can be found on The Queens Jazz Trail Map, which was created as a part of Flushing Town Hall’s Queens Jazz Trail Tour.

Corea’s technical facility on the piano was unparalleled and astonishing. He played together with other greats like Cab Calloway, Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, and Stan Getz, and he recorded with Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie.

In 1967 he accompanied Sarah Vaughan with Miroslav Vitous and drummer Roy Hanes and in 1968 replaced pianist Herbie Hancock to play in The Miles Davis Band with bassist Ron Carter, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and drummer Tony Williams — one of the best jazz ensembles of all time. He can be heard on Miles Davis’ iconic album “Bitches Brew.”

He also formed Return To Forever and The Elektric Band, two groups that were on the cutting edge of the jazz fusion era that performed some intricate and memorable music. His composition “Spain” has been recorded by countless jazz artists the world over, and his many other compositions will forever be a treasured part of the Jazz Songbook.

He was one of jazz’s great pioneers, helping to establish the synthesizer in fusion jazz. He received the NEA’s Jazz Master endowment in 2006 and won 23 Grammy Awards over the course of his career.

The musical life of Chick Corea has touched millions of music lovers worldwide, and his genius inspired the best of the best in jazz. He will be greatly missed.”