Beloved by audiences, Flushing Town Hall’s popular Global Mashups have returned for a seventh season in 2020 and will kick off with a lively, leap year celebration. On Saturday, February 29, the Queens venue will present “Klezmer meets Venezuela,” the first of five unique concerts in the series. Each concert will feature two very different ensembles performing one standalone set each, before they “mashup” in a third for a collaborative jam session.
“Klezmer meets Venezuela” will present Michael Winograd and the Honorable Mentshn together with Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo.
Klezmer is a folk music tradition originated by European, Ashkenazi Jews. It has experienced a popular resurgence in recent decades — and Michael Winograd leads the pack. New York Music Daily once wrote, “there is no Coney Island ride, with the possibility of the Cyclone, that can deliver the thrills of Winograd’s clarinet.”
An internationally acclaimed musician, he is also well known as the artistic director of KlezKanada, the world’s largest klezmer music festival. As he is based in Canada, this event offers a rare opportunity to enjoy his band live in New York.
Their set will be followed by one featuring Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo. Representing the rural voice of Venezuela, Betsayda and her group perform an energetic, Afro-Venezuelan folk genre known as tambor. The New York Times described their sound as “vital, accomplished,” and “deeply rooted.” NPR has called Betsayda’s shows “the most joyful.”
Betsayda was raised in the small Venezuelan village of El Clavo in the region of Barlovento and has played with her band — lifelong friends — for more than 30 years and still resides in Venezuela.
“Flushing Town Hall’s programs feature the finest artists from around the world, bringing audiences together,” says Flushing Town Hall Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “Global Mashups is a unique series at which we celebrate two very different cultures coming together through music and dance and discovery. Audiences and Artists meet on the dance floor and on the stage to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
As the most diverse county in all of the United States, where more languages are spoken than anywhere else in the world, the immigrant-rich Queens really is the perfect setting for the Global Mashups series, although it draws its audience from across New York City’s five boroughs, Long Island, and the tristate area. Extremely popular, the 2019 concerts sold out.
The audience for “Klezmer meets Venezuela” is encouraged to arrive early for a 7:15 PM dance lesson before the concert begins at 8:00 PM. The music will be high energy, with danceable rhythms, and hard to resist! There will also be special food and drink for sale.
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. More information is available at www.flushingtownhall.org.
In 2020, Flushing Town Hall will continue to open 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.
Tickets can be purchased at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.