From Australia to New York, Elliot Cowan will unveil Grunt! this April


Introducing “Solar-Lunar Transcriptions” by Tina Seligman

Photo by Dan Rubin.

The following blog post was provided by Tina Seligman, who will

 exhibit Solar-Lunar Transcriptions in our first floor Gallery from April 7 to 15, 2018.

I’m excited to invite everyone to become part of an ongoing mixed media series, Solar-Lunar Transcriptions, by submitting original haiku inspired by the moon and/or sun, and by interpreting the music for the September Suite project (for details and instructions, please visit www.solarlunarmusic.comsubmission deadline is March 25). 

The work studies patterns created by solar, lunar and tidal cycles in relation to the Gregorian calendar, one of the many man-made formats to describe cycles of time.  Although we all experience the sun and moon daily, I became curious about the shapes of their movements over time and what they would sound like. One project compares shifts of phases for September over four years. Another tracks patterns over four seasons in one year.  I translated those patterns into visual collages and music. At a time when the world is so fractured, shared experiences of the moon and sun remind us that we are all profoundly connected through nature.

Photos by Amos Chan.

My process often begins with graphing moon rise/set, sun rise/set, high and low tides, and/or moon phases from one or more locations within a time period.  Pitch, note value, and dynamics are then assigned.  “Transcription” in music relates to writing sounds as musical notes, as well as rewriting for other instruments.  For some projects, such as September Suite 2009-2012, I created visual variations for the same patterns.

The Solar-Lunar Suite for Four Seasons music was recorded by flutist, Jo Brand, whose unique, creative approach had a tremendous impact on me.  I realized that we all experience the moon in a unique way and I became interested in how different people would interpret the same rhythms so I decided to open the September Suite project to the world.  There is sheet music for those who read notation, and for anyone who hasn’t studied formal notation, the visual patterns of the artwork can be used to inspire music. All instruments are welcome, whether acoustic or computer software (my music is created with Garritan instruments on Sonar x1 program).  Participants’ recordings will be added to the site with the name of the musician.

The haiku project was inspired by Joan and John Digby who had invited me to create monotypes for Joan’s booklet of Moon Haiku translations for the Feral Press. Reading the poems made me think more deeply about haiku and the poetry of the moon and I wanted to share this experience. Submitted haiku will be posted on the site and also written on small round papers to be installed in the exhibit with each writer’s name.  

The work includes other interactive projects, such as the Hawaiian Moon Phase Percussion Cups.  Each cup contains the amount of beads related to that phase (1 – 30) so you can hear the sound of each number.  The colors are related to activities associated with each phase according to traditional Hawaiian beliefs, such as fishing, planting, and harvesting.  I transcribed the phases into music by assigning pitches to the colors.  Viewers are invited to create their own rhythms by playing with the cups.

There will be two free events.  Following a lively afternoon of storytelling about the sun and moon on April 7, there will be a haiku workshop to express our own thoughts. That haiku will also be added to the installation. Photos of the exhibit will be posted for anyone who could not attend.

I have always lived in Jackson Heights, only about 20 minutes from Flushing Town Hall.  My parents, Irene and Max, inspired and encouraged me to be an artist my entire life, and most importantly, to enjoy the journey and what it reveals. In 1994, my mom found a listing about Flushing Town Hall which changed my life. I became a member that year and in 2000, began working as a teaching artist which has become a great passion.

The staff, other teaching artists and member artists have become my extended family and I thank them as well as all of my family and friends for their caring support, especially last year when I lost both of my parents after long battles with illness. This exhibit is a tribute to them and a celebration of their extraordinary spirits.

To learn more, visit

Tina also will lead several free events:

Saturday, April 7 Storytelling about the Sun and Moon,  1:00 – 2:30pm – Limit of 30 people.

Saturday, April 7 Haiku Workshop,  3:00 – 4:30pm  – Limit of 30 people.

Reservations for both can be made through Flushing Town Hall’s Box Office at 718-463-7700  x222.

Get ready to Grunt! this April at Flushing Town Hall

This April, Flushing Town Hall will unveil a special treat for visitors young and old – Grunt! by Elliot Cowan. This solo exhibition by the award-winning visual artist presents a collection of painting, drawings, sculptures, and digital illustrations that chart 10 years of an Australian living in Queens and traveling through the Complicated States of America.

The exhibition will open on Friday, April 20 in Flushing Town Hall’s first-floor Gallery, and be on view through Sunday, May 13. Suggested donations are only $5. For Gallery hours, visit us here for more information. And Elliot also will lead a workshop at Flushing Town Hall on May 6 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

What can an audience expect to see/experience at your exhibition?

Although it was never my intention, my show GRUNT! has turned into a bit of a travelogue of my experiences in the US. The diversity and hustle and bustle of Queens, spending time in New England, traveling through the south and my home away from my home away from my home away from home, Philadelphia. I’m also including a number of Australian icons that should be fun for folks to discover.

Tell us about you – how you started as an artist?

I’ve always been an artist! My entire life all I ever wanted to do is draw and make things and that’s what I’ve always done. I started out reading lots of books and watching lots of cartoons and drew what I saw and kept doing it and never stopped.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Melbourne, Australia. I lived there until I was 21 and then moved to the island of Tasmania to the south (Australia’s smallest state). I lived there for 11 years mostly directing low budget television commercials. Then I was in London for 18 months where I met my American wife and moved to Bayside, Queens, right down the road from Flushing Town Hall. I’ve been in Queens for about 10 years.

What do you hope audiences learn/discover/feel at your exhibition?

Joy! Happiness! Relief from the idea that because art is hanging on a wall it’s precious and lofty and beyond the reach of everyday people. I would also like everyone who sees my work to think “Gosh, wow. This stuff is amazing” because all artists want their work to be loved.

What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?

If you are interested in the world and the arts, music, photography, sculpture, painting, dance, and food, then Flushing Town Hall is a distillation of all these things. What more could you ask for?

What is on the horizon for you?

At the moment I’m still lurching towards finishing everything for GRUNT! I’ve got a few more prints to make and a few more sculptures to paint. In the meantime you could go watching my independent animated feature, The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead and Roundhead, the only animated feature to be produced in Queens:

Latin Boogaloo Meets Afrobeat in our First Global Mashup of the Season on April 20

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.

Portraits – FELA! Band

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 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.

Experience the Best of Bachata on March 18 with Joan Soriano

Born in the rural countryside near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano fashioned his first guitar from a tin can and fishing line and has never looked back. Join Soriano at Flushing Town Hall on Sunday, March 18 and experience the way he expertly blends the sacred traditions of palo and gaga with bachata, a genre that is essential to Dominican culture.

As New York Music Daily reported last year, “Soriano is a breath of fresh air straight off the Caribbean. Or, as the show built steam, more like a friendly hurricane.”

Bachata draws upon a variety of influences from Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Joan both preserves bachata’s roots and expands on them, imparting his music with a down-to-earth spirit and dance-ability. Soriano plays steel string bachata with romance and grit, and the Afro-infused rhythm that permeates his music will have audience members on their feet.

As a boy, Joan received little formal education. The seventh of 15 children, Joan left school to help his father farm the family’s land, but he soon found his passion for music. He formed a band with his siblings called Los Candes, which became a local sensation. At age 13, Joan traveled to Santo Domingo to develop his talents and  work with some of the Dominican Republic’s greatest bachata stars.

Since then, Soriano has gone on to release seven albums. El Duque de la Bachata won the best World Beat Album of 2011 at the Indie Acoustic Project awards. He performs across the United States and internationally.

You can see Soriano perform at Lincoln Center in 2017 here.

Tickets are $16/$10 Members & Students. For more information, visit or call (718) 463-7700 x222.

This winter and Spring, Flushing Town Hall will continue to open its doors to teenagers – for free. Under the “Teen Access Program”, which is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture, all 13- to 19-year-olds (whether a member or not) are welcome to attend any performance for free.

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.

Presenting Southern Italian Folk Music & Dance from Newpoli on March 2

On Friday, March 2, Flushing Town Hall presents an evening of southern Italian music and dance when Newpoli takes the stage with a repertoire of upbeat, danceable folk music that merges influences from Africa, the Middle East, and Greece.

The award-winning Newpoli has a unique and powerful sound, with a modern take on traditional music, and is an inspiring interpreter of southern Italy’s taranta, drawing deeply from this lesser-known music genre. The group stirs up a mesmerizing meld of traditional Italian folk music, Greek, and Turkish grooves, Mediterranean and Spanish colors, and a contemporary sensibility they call Mediterranean Pulse – Ritmi della Terra.

You can see highlights from Newpoli performances here. The group is fronted by singers Carmen Marsico and Angela Rossi, a pair that PopMatters called “visual and musical cynosures with their contrasting looks and twining vocal lines.” The tamburello, played by virtuoso Fabio Pirozzolo, pounds out the heartbeat of Newpoli’s music, and the singers launch into a frenetic dance destined to bring audience members to their feet. Newpoli’s latest album is Nun te vutà, which won the 2016 Independent Music Award for “Best World Traditional Album.”

Tickets – which you can purchase here – are $16/$10 Members and Students. For more information, visit or call (718) 463-7700 x222. This winter and Spring, Flushing Town Hall will continue to open its doors to teenagers – for free. Under the “Teen Access Program”, which is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture, all 13- to 19-year-olds (whether a member or not) are welcome to attend any performance for free.

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.

Enjoy the Third Annual Charcuterie Masters at Flushing Town Hall on February 24

The meatiest night in New York comes back to Queens next month as the wildly popular Charcuterie Masters returns for its third year.

Professional and amateur makers of artisanal charcuterie will vie for the crown and top New York City chefs, including Hugue Dufour (M. Wells Steakhouse), Alfonso Zhicay (Casa del Chef Bistro), and Josh Bowen (John Brown Smokehouse) will create exquisite dishes featuring smoked heritage pork and cured meats at New York City’s premiere charcuterie event, which takes place February 24th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at historic Flushing Town Hall.

In addition to great food and drinks for everybody, Charcuterie Masters 2018 is the first ever competition of its kind, presented in conjunction with Brooklyn Kitchen. The tournament  brings together a who’s who of professional and amateur makers of artisanal charcuterie from the U.S. and Canada, including Evan Brady (Nduja Artisans Salumeria, Chicago); Rodrigo Duarte (Caseiro E Bom, Newark, N.J.); Chad Nelan (Elevation Charcuterie & Artisan Meats, Denver); Chef Will Horowitz (Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co.); and Giuseppe Viterale (Ornella Trattoria, Astoria, N.Y.).

The judging panel for Charcuterie Masters 2018 will be led by Chef Brian Polcyn, renowned charcuterie expert and co-author of “Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.” “Events like Charcuterie Masters keep charcuterie in the forefront of modern American cooking, where it belongs. I’m proud to serve as lead judge in this crucial and industry collaborative event. My advice for everybody: Eat more pork, smoke more meat, eat a lot of sausage.”

Other judges for Charcuterie Masters 2018 include Josh Bowen (Pitmaster, John Brown Smokehouse), Chef Cesare Casella (Dean of Italian Studies, International Culinary Center), Cristiano Creminelli (founder, Creminelli Fine Meats), Aurelien Dufour (Dufour Gourmet), Rino Mini (CEO, Galvanina), Michael Pardus (professor of culinary arts, Culinary Institute of America), Harry Rosenblum (The Brooklyn Kitchen), Francine Segan (author and Italian food expert),  and Jeremy Stanton (founder The Meat Market).

Attendees will enjoy unlimited tasting of more than 60 kinds of charcuterie, including exquisite prosciutto from Cesare Casella and sumptuous Portuguese Alentejano ham from Rodrigo Duarte who will also be doing a butchery demonstration of this forerunner to the pig that produces Spain’s famed jamon de pata negra.

They will also have chance to learn from the makers as well participate in a people’s choice vote of the ‘best-of-the-evening’ charcuterie. Pairings will include top-rated wines, craft beers, and farmstead ciders. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase charcuterie directly at the event.

A $65 general admission to Charcuterie Masters 2018 entitles guests to explore unlimited tasting and sampling of all food and beverages. Additionally, there will be $125 VIP tickets sold, which will allow access to a special hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. enabling VIP guests to enjoy early access to the entire festival as well as admission to the VIP tasting room, featuring a luxurious spread of cured meats, including chicken liver mousse and pâté en croute personally prepared by NYEE president, Chef David Noeth, as well as exclusive charcuterie selections from Queens’ very own Muncan Food.


New York Epicurean Events is a Catskill Mountains-based producer of premiere farm-to- table food and wine festivals and educational programs that pair the agricultural bounty—including grass-fed beef, organic produce, artisanal cheeses, smoked fish, and craft beverages—from the region’s lush mountain valleys and fresh water streams—with New York City’s most innovative chefs and culinary artisans. Our goals include creating jobs, driving economic development by assisting family farmers and local artisans, and fostering culinary and agricultural tourism in the Catskill-Delaware NYC Watershed while exposing everyone from chefs and other culinary professionals to foodies and gourmets to delicious, fresh, sustainable, and healthful foods.




Get Ready for the US Debut of PunjabTronix on March 10

On Saturday, March 10, technology will meet tradition as cutting-edge live electronica and digital technologies combine with the traditional sounds of Punjab when Flushing Town Hall presents PunjabTronix.

Mercury-nominated electronic music producer DJ Swami joins forces with Punjabi folk musicians (Vijay Yamla, Naresh Kukki, Dheera Singh, Gurtej Singh) to create an innovative musical and visual experience, combining dynamic electronic beats with the raw energetic DNA of Punjab.

“We are delighted to be presenting PunjabTronix, a brand new, exciting contemporary music project where technology meets raw Punjabi folk music,” said Jaswinder Singh, Project Producer and Director of Asian Arts Agency. “This international collaboration between the exceptionally talented British and Indian artists is receiving global attention from audiences and promoters. I am looking forward to our US debut at Flushing Town Hall, and expect that audiences will have a great time enjoying this new music performance.”

You can get a taste of Punjabtronix in this video.

Mixing live electronic dance music with Punjabi dhol drums, vocals, stringed instruments and the hypnotic sounding double flute algoza, the powerful distinct rhythms and traditional melodies of the Punjab will interact creatively with live electronic drum machines, synthesiser arpeggios and basslines. And, completing the unique musical and visual event will be visual projections of original digital animations and cinematic Punjabi imagery, produced by filmmaker John Minton.

Tickets to the concert – which begins at 8:00 PM – are $16, and $10 for members and students. You can purchase tickets here.

PunjabTronix is a new project produced and commissioned by Asian Arts Agency to respond to Reimagine India 2017, a cultural exchange program designed to develop creative collaborations between artists from England and India. PunjabTronix, which is funded by Reimagine India and is part of UK/India Year of Culture 2017 and the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Independence of India, is supported by Arts Council England and British Council.

The event features a collaboration between:

  • DJ Swami: Mercury-nominated DJ Swami, from production and co-writing the journey of Swami (So Who AM I?), has always been to explore the hybrid diaspora identity, finding synergy and pushing the boundaries of British and Indian contemporary music to create exciting new musical milestones; the Swami sound has been built on pioneering British Indian influenced popular music over the past 20 years. Swami’s unique creative perspective and interpretations of fusing western popular/contemporary and Indian music has been honored worldwide, with Ivor Novello (1993), Mercury Music Prize (1993) and Grammy (2004) nominations to winning Best Producer at the UK Asian Music Awards (2005 and 2008).
  • Vijay Yamla: The grandson of celebrated Punjabi folk singer, Yamla Jatt, Vijay is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist who will bring his vast musical experience to the project, playing traditional Punjabi instruments such as Tumbi, Tumba, Algoza and Bugchu.
  • John Minton: Bristol-based UK filmmaker, John Minton is known for his experimental, lo-fi, and hallucinatory style. Characterized by grainy super-8 textures, a palette of iridescent, glowing hues, and mesmerizingly evocative imagery. Minton’s distinctive visual flair has lent itself to music videos for Noel Gallagher, Portishead, and Savages amongst others. The vast majority of John’s work exists in the Live circuit as seen this year on Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird’s world tour and with Portishead where John has performed Live Tour Visuals since 2007. Highlights of which include Glastonbury’s Other Stage in 2013 and Coachella Headline in 2008. Aside from the music world, John also edited the BAFTA winning Short ‘September’ (Dir: Esther May Campbell 2009).

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. Tickets are on sale now at