On Friday, April 20, Flushing Town Hall resumes its popular Global Mashups series with Global Mashups #1: Latin Boogaloo Meets Afrobeat. 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 Latin Boogaloo is Spanglish Fly, New York City’s only band dedicated to reviving and renewing the soul and R&B genre. Chop and Quench, comprised of members of the cast and band of FELA! The Musical, shares its Afrobeat blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm. Each band plays a set, then the two meet and jam, and concert-goers are encouraged to get on their feet and dance to this unique show of global tunes!
Called “part band, part celebration,” the 12 members of Spanglish Fly 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 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.”
Chop and Quench features members of the cast and band of FELA! The Musical, a Tony Award-winning Broadway show that is based on the life of Fela Kuti, the creator of Afrobeat. The band is known for its straightforward performances of classic Fela Kuti compositions, but it also brings original music to the stage.
Its members are some of the best musicians in New York and have performed with The Roots, India Arie, and Elvis Costello. Lead singer Sahr Ngaujah was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway show. The group has toured internationally and has accompanied Beyonce, Femi Kuti, and Angelique Kidjo.
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 other upcoming mashups are: Egypt meets Haiti on May 4; Mexico meets Guinea on May 18; 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.