Celebrate 100 Years of Dizzy and Monk with NEA Jazz Masters in November

On Friday, November 3, Flushing Town Hall presents a concert celebrating 100 years of two Jazz icons: Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Their essential contributions to the jazz vernacular is celebrated in a show featuring National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Jimmy Heath on saxophone, Kenny Barron on piano, Jimmy Owens on trumpet, and Jimmy Cobb on drum. The Masters are joined by Lew Tabackin on saxophone and Rufus Reid on bass.

This group of Masters will perform special arrangements of classic compositions by Dizzy and Monk, including “Groovin’ High” and “Round Midnight.”

This is not just another concert for Mr. Jimmy Heath, who is paying tribute to two dear friends. “If they were alive, they would both be 100 years old,” says Mr. Heath. “But their music is eternal, and I want to make sure that people continue to hear it.”

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was Mr. Heath’s mentor. When they first met in 1940 in Philadelphia, and he was immediately “taken aback” by Dizzy’s talent and presence. Mr. Heath joined Dizzy’s band in 1949, and they played together off and on throughout Dizzy’s life.

Dizzy Gillespie helped to usher in the era of Bebop in American jazz. Gillespie is known as one of the founding fathers of the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz tradition, and he was inspired by his travels throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. He remains one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time.

The NEA Jazz Masters are also paying tribute to the great Thelonious Monk, who Mr. Heath describes as one of the “master composers of the Bebop generation.” Known for his improvisational style and highly percussive piano technique, many of his compositions are now part of the standard jazz repertoire.

Celebrate a century of incredible jazz with Flushing Town Hall. You will not want to miss this tribute to two jazz legends, lovingly performed by Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Jimmy Owens, Jimmy Cobb, Lew Tabackin and Rufus Reid.

Admission is $42/$32 Members/$20 Students with Table Package options for $125/$100 Members (reserved table for two with wine and snacks) and the event is open to all ages. 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.

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Presenting Afro-Venezuelan Music by Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo on October 21

On Saturday, October 21, Flushing Town Hall presents “the voice of Venezuela”, Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo, for a colorful evening of Afro-Venezuelan dance and music. Guests can participate in a dance lesson before the performance.

Betsayda Machado grew up in the small village of El Clavo in Venezuela and performs with her village’s own multi-generational percussion band, La Parranda El Clavo. Together they perform tambor venezolano, a Venezuelan Afro-Soul genre. Many of their songs shed light on the challenges that Venezuelans are currently facing. Experience the passion, color, and contagious beats of this spirit-shaking show that is said to make dancers float.

Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo made their New York City debut in January 2017, which received rave reviews from The New York Times, which called them, “The kind of group that world-music fans have always been thrilled to discover: vital, accomplished, local, unplugged, deeply rooted.”

The group has been performing throughout the country ever since, and they are currently celebrating their 30-year anniversary with a series of concerts and residencies from Denver to D.C.

This engagement of Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo 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.

Flushing Town Hall is excited to have this vibrant group share their rhythm and vocals with our community. The evening will start with dance lessons at 7 PM, followed by a performance at 8 PM. Tickets are $16/$10 for members and students. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.flushingtownhall.org.

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. 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 with a student I.D. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Only a few days til 123 Andrés

123 Andrés is one of the most exciting new voices on the family music scene in the US and Latin America – “A rockstar for little language learners” according to Billboard Magazine. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Andrés brings to audiences joyful sounds, passion for bilingualism and a high-energy love of music that gets kids singing and dancing in Spanish and English.

On Sunday, October 15, join Latin Grammy-winning Andrés on an exciting cultural journey of Latin America through an introduction of language, music, and dance, when he presents at Flushing Town Hall. Families will sing and dance to rhythms while gaining knowledge of vocabulary in English and Spanish. Children will be encouraged to use their imaginations to ride an airplane and join in singing songs that will entice dancing while practicing new vocabulary.

The 2:15 PM family performance will be preceded by a 1:00 PM interactive arts workshop. Tickets are available here.

What can an audience expect to see/experience at your (performance, workshop, event)?

Our family workshop will focus on using music to expand children’s vocabulary and language skills, including for children who are growing up with two or more languages. We will get the whole family involved in singing, making movements to songs, playing with words, and even writing whole new songs. I really enjoy seeing families be creative together!

At our concert, Christina and I will be joined by our band – so expect a high-energy show! We’ll play some classics as well as songs from our albums, and everyone – regardless of age – is invited to stand up to dance and jump. During the concert you’ll also see that Christina and Andrés have a disagreement that we have to resolve.

After the concert, children may want to talk about all of the instruments they heard, or about Andrés and Christina’s disagreement and how we resolved it. Talking and retelling shared experiences is an important way for children to develop early literacy skills, so we hope that the concert is a jumping off point for lots of family conversations!

What do you hope audiences learn/discover/feel at one of your events?

I hope families leave the hall singing one of our songs! We hope adults get to enjoy a unique time of interaction with their children. We always say that our concerts aren’t kids’ shows but family shows, so we hope that each member of the family leaves having learned something and having laughed or smiled at some aspect of the concert.

Tell us about you – how you started as a (performer, artist, photographer, etc.)?

I started as a kid, in Bogotá, Colombia. One day when I was six, my dad was walking by a community center and heard kids’ voices singing. It turned out to be a kids’ music group.

My dad signed me and my brother up. In the group we sang many traditional kids songs and learned to play the recorder. We would perform, singing and dancing, at community events in Bogotá. Then, when I was nine, we had the opportunity to participate in recording an album of kids music called “El Ratoncito Marinero.”

Around same time my dad started teaching me to play the guitar. Then I went on to study the clarinet at the Conservatory and then in college, and then in grad school. I also played in lots of other bands, from rock to opera to Norteña to Latin Jazz. It wasn’t until after I finished graduate school that I decided to come back full circle and dedicate myself to music for children and families full-time.

Where did you grow up / where do you live? (this helps us when we pitch local media in NYC)?

I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia and moved to the US for graduate school. We travel a lot so we live in many places but mostly in the Washington DC area and Kansas City!

What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?

Coming to Flushing Town Hall means coming to one of the most diverse places in the world, where hearing multiple languages is a part of daily life. I come here with an open heart not only to share my music but to learn from this vibrant community.

What is on the horizon for you (what other projects are you working on? Do you have a book/movie/recording coming out?)

We are working on two new albums at the same time! One project is a CD of lullabies, with some traditional and some original songs. The other album… will also be for families but the theme will be totally different from lullabies. It’s still a surprise but stay tuned!

Flushing Town Hall Presents 3rd Annual Diwali Festival on Sunday, October 29

On Sunday, October 29, Flushing Town Hall will celebrate the Festival of Lights with its third annual Diwali Festival, this time as a Diwali Dance Party, featuring DJ Rekha and Abha Roy in a mash-up of Bhangra and Kathak music and dance styles, with cooking workshops, dance lessons, traditional foods, and family-friendly activities such as a jewelry workshop and henna painting. The event will provide a rare opportunity to see DJ Rekha perform once more after her final Basement Bhangra performance in August.

The Diwali Festival is supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio; The National Endowment of the Arts; The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Con Edison; and The New York Community Bank Foundation

The three-hour celebration features master artists: master Indian dancer Abha B. Roy with Sarika Persaud, and the Srijan Dance Center; and for one day only DJ Rekha returns to the stage for a Bhangra dance party. Join us for henna painting, rangoli (decorative design) workshops, a dance workshop, and cooking workshops led by The League of Kitchens’ Yamini. 

Delicious Indian foods and handmade Indian jewelry also will be for sale during the lively event.

The event runs from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, Queens. Tickets—$20/$15 Members/$10 Students & Children—are available at www.flushingtownhall.org.

Additionally, Flushing Town Hall will hold two school shows for grades four to eight on Friday, October 27th at 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM. To make reservations, call (718) 463-7700 ext. 241 or email education@flushingtownhall.org.

Diwali, or Deepavali, comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “row of lights.” It is a day of solidarity, where the soft light of diyas – or oil-wick candles – illuminate streets and homes, banishing the darkness of ignorance and suffering. Diwali began as a part of an ancient harvest festival, which celebrated the fertility of the earth and prosperity of the new harvest. Though Diwali has taken on a significant meaning in Hinduism, in India, it is still celebrated by all groups regardless of religious affiliation as a time of renewal and growth.

“Diwali is a festive time of gift-giving, charity and sharing in feasts with loved ones,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. “We are excited to continue this tradition at Flushing Town Hall and to provide an experience that fills all senses: musical performances, classical dance, traditional food, henna painting, fashion and much more.”

Participants at the event include:

Abha Roy has blazed a trail of her own in the sphere of Kathak, a classic northern Indian dance form. Abha started her career as a classical dancer in 1984, completing her diploma in Kathak under the guidance of late great Guru Kundan Lal Gangani. She attained professional precision under the training of Pt. Durgalal when she completed her specialization in Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. She has served on the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, dancing Kathak around the world as commissioned representative of Indian dance.  Abha has conducted workshops and classes for New York City schools, universities, libraries and museums since 1992 and is the founding director of Srijan Dance Center.

Basement Bhangra’s DJ Rekha is a London-born, Flushing-raised musician, DJ, producer, curator and activist. She has been credited with pioneering Bhangra music – which emerged in the Punjabi countryside – in North Americ In 1997, she founded Basement Bhangra, which since had been held at SOB’s on Varick Street and began with dance lessons that evolved into a dance party. The event, which has become an international phenomenon, drawing an extremely diverse audience, recently celebrated its final show, on August 6 because Rekha was leaving to pursue other projects.

Yamini, of The League of Kitchens, Born and raised in Mumbai, Yamini started cooking with her parents when she was ten years old. She remembers watching her father cook for the large religious festivals her family attended, as the women weren’t allowed to cook for them. She moved to Kew Gardens, Queens with her husband and three daughters in 1999 and has worked in Manhattan at a jewelry company for many years. In 2009, after years of bringing lunch in for her co-workers, she delved into the catering business. She now prepares food for non-profit and corporate events around the city. In addition to cooking, Yamini paints and loves to sing and dance, especially at parties. The League of Kitchens is an immersive culinary adventure in New York City where immigrants teach intimate cooking workshops in their homes, and participants encounter a new culture, cuisine, and neighborhood with every experience. Each workshop offers opportunities for culinary learning and discovery, cultural engagement and exchange, meaningful connection and social interaction, and exceptional eating and drinking. Through this experience, we seek to build cross-cultural connection and understanding and increase access to traditional cooking knowledge.

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. 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.

The Sport of Kings in Queens: Celebrating 350 Years of Thoroughbred Horse Racing

King Charles II of Great Britain, upon seizing New Netherland from the Dutch, promptly renamed it the Province of New York. An avid breeder, owner, and racer of thoroughbred horses, Charles established the first official race course in 1667 in Queens, Province of New York.

Our new exhibition – The Sport of Kings in Queens: Celebrating 350 Years of Thoroughbred Horse Racing – relates the remarkable history of thoroughbred horse racing in Queens and is co-located at Flushing Town Hall’s Greenroom and the Queens Historical Society.

The exhibition opens on Sunday, October 8 with a reception at 2:30 PM at Kingsland Homestead, at 143-35 37th Avenue in Flushing. The exhibition is open until June 30, 2018, and exhibition hours are Noon to 5:00 PM. A $5 donation is suggested, and the exhibition is free for members and students.

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. 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.

Experience the Music and Rhythms of the Garifuna Collective featuring Umalali

 

Flushing Town Hall is delighted to present The Garifuna Collective and Umalali on Friday, October 6. The Wall Street Journal calls their performances “a completely irresistible groove,” with songs that celebrate the history and traditions of the Garifuna people, a unique culture based on the Caribbean coast of Central America that blends elements of West African and Native Caribbean heritage.

The Garifuna Collective is a multi-generational ensemble featuring some of the most accomplished musicians of the Garifuna community. They aim to tell the stories of the women and daughters who, while working to support their families, sing traditional songs to pass some of their heritage down to future generations. Umalali, the Garifuna word for “voice,” is a moving ensemble that captures the beauty and power of Garifuna female expression. The Garifuna Jazz Ensemble, led by Lucy Blanco, will open the show with joined by a cast of well-seasoned musicians. The Garifuna people are struggling to retain their unique language, music, and traditions in the face of globalization, and Garifuna artists are fighting to preserve their culture.

The show will be filled with traditional melodies and hints of African, Latin, and Caribbean music. Hailing from Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, the powerful melodies and call and response songs, mixed with notes of funk and rock music, will bring the audience on a journey into the entrancing history and culture of the Garifuna people.

To kick off the event, Garifuna Collective and Umalali will teach participants how to use native instruments including traditional Garifuna drums, maracas, turtle shells, and more. The Garifuna Jazz Ensemble, the Garifuna Collective and Umalali will perform their music, accompanied with dance and traditional costumes. The complex rhythms, colorful costumes, and energetic dances are irresistible and will leave the audience wanting more!

 

The event starts at 7 P.M. Tickets are $16/$10 for members and students. For more information, please visit http://www.flushingtownhall.org.

This engagement of The Garifuna Collective featuring Umalali 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.

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. 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 with student I.D. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Flushing Town Hall: At the Fore of Language Immersion

The benefits of language immersion are well-documented. The more a student is immersed in a language, the more likely that they will be flexible and critical thinkers, better problem solvers, and high achievers.

Flushing Town Hall Education works with bi-lingual master teaching artists from all over the world. They conduct their workshops and residencies in their native language alone, in English, or in both languages. The students they reach reinforce their language learning as they become culturally immersed and gain a greater understanding of different cultures and traditions.

Our current roster of languages span the globe – and speak to our mission or providing global arts for a global audience: French, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish and Taiwanese.

For educators wishing to engage with us, here are our current offerings:

FRENCH

African dance with Vado Diomande from the Ivory Coast

Introduce your students to the rhythms of the Ivory Coast through a combination of dance and drumming workshops, assemblies or residencies. Students are introduced to a series of dance steps that are put together with the drum rhythms. Students also learn how the drum and dancing fit together with live accompaniment. This program can be developed into an 8-week residency with a culminating performance.

HINDI

Indian dance & yoga with Abha Roy 

Students will be introduced to Kathak- the classical dance of Northern India. This dance is centuries years old and is used to tell stories that originated in Hindu temples. The dancers become actors who use spinning and posing to tell a story. The diversity of India’s culture and traditions is also demonstrated with a variety of Indian folk dances from the entire country. In each session, students learn Indian dance steps with a focus on storytelling.

ITALIAN

Blues/Jazz with Carol Sudhalter

Students will listen to blues recordings with special attention to the lyrics which demonstrate the blues’ expressive nature. The class will talk about their own emotions and select one emotion to focus on for the song’s theme. Students will write a sentence or two at a time, ending up with a blues that expresses the described experience in a whole new way. Through the process of turning the emotion into a lyric and a melody, which is then sung with class support, the students experience the process of metamorphosis, and catharsis, through art.

KOREAN

Korean dance & drumming with Songhee Lee

Students will be exposed to the various traditional folk dances of Korea such as Buchaechum (fan dance) which combines the graceof the music and the shifting of geometric designs with the fans, Janggo (hour-glass drum dance) where dancers play a double-headed drum in the shape of an hour-glass that is strapped to their body while they dance and spin, Sogo Chum (small hand-drum dance) where the dancers move with a small drum in one hand and a stick in the other, and the Jindo Buk Chum (drum dance) a dynamic dance traditionally performed to ensure and celebrate a good harvest.

Korean minhwa painting with Stephanie Lee

Many aspects of Asian culture such as art have been influenced by China. Before the collapse of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) in China, most paintings were done only by educated painters and shared mainly with those in the upper class, in the style of idealized landscapes in black and white. After the collapse, Korea was forced to build new artistic models based on an inner search for Korean subjects. Developed during the latter half of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897), the last and longest imperial dynasty of Korea, folk paintings called minhwa became very popular. Minhwa paintings were done and shared by ordinary people with vibrant colors and energetic subject matters. These paintings were considered “true view” and decorated almost every household in Korea!

MANDARIN

Chinese dance with Ling Tang

Just like the Chinese language, Chinese dance has its own unique vocabulary and structure that enables the dancer to express their thoughts and feelings. Students will learn about the historical and cultural developments in diverse Chinese dance vocabularies. Each session starts with a warm up followed by a mini repertoire of a specific Chinese dance style(s). Students also have the opportunity to use unique props such as fans, ribbons, and handkerchiefs.

PORTUGUESE

Ceramics with Marcela Carvalho

Exploring the elements of earth, wind, water and fire, students will be guided to imagine, design and create their own clay teacups using a pinch method technique. Through the use of arts vocabulary and literacy, students will use their own set of skills that support learning across the curriculum in Geometry, Mathematics, Ceramic Technical Language, Physics and Earth Science as part of their work. Connections to cultural, social, and historical contexts in clay works will help students gain a better understanding of the work, while acknowledging some links to their community and experiences on the subject of pottery making.

SPANISH

Piñata making with Aurelia Fernandez from Mexico

Most people think of piñatas as a fun activity during a party or celebration. But, did you know that the history of piñatas show that they were made to be more than just a game? In this workshop, students will learn about the history and create their own traditional Mexican piñatas using vibrant colored tissue paper and a ready-made papier-mâché structure.

Mexican dance with Alberto Lopez & Calpulli Mexican Dance

In this interactive program, students receive an overview of traditional Mexican folk dances as they learn simplified movements from dances such as little old men- a four hundred year old indigenous dance, Jalisco, and El jarabe tapatio- the world famous Mexican hat dance! Students will also have the opportunity to wear traditional dress such as hats, fan handkerchiefs, and folkloric dresses.

Andean music with Pepe Santana from Ecuador

An overview of native Andean music from Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador demonstrated through a live demonstration of several percussion, wind, and string instruments, followed by an interactive instrument-making workshop where participants will have the opportunity to build a pentatonic panpipe called palla. Students will also learn how to play simple Andean melodies.

Cumbia music with Pablo Mayor from Colombia

This is an engaging program for kids that showcase the rich musical and dance traditions of Colombia. Students have the opportunity to play folkloric instruments from the four regions of Colombia, learn simple percussive rhythms, sing in Spanish, and dance in the traditions of Colombia.

Nutrition and healthy eating with Christina Camacho from Peru

Engage in a discussion of healthy eating through the preparation and demonstration of how to cook quinoa: a high-endurance aerobic-efficiency food with an amazing nutritional food profile, also known as a “supergrain.” Most people including vegetarians, vegans, and those with cereal grain allergies can base their diets off this delicious food that is easy to prepare and high in protein. With an emphasis on seniors, a focus is drawn on how to achieve a balanced nutrition, keeping your bones strong, why being physically active is important, and how to eat healthy on a budget. Food samples are available.

TAIWANESE

Chinese calligraphy with Dr. Hsing-lih Chou from Taiwan

Learning to write in an artistic way is a wonderful way to learn about ancient China and its culture. Chinese Calligraphy is the highly regarded fine art of writing dating back thousands of years. Using traditional ink, brush pens, and ink stones, students will replicate some of the various characters found in these long-established and honored writings.