When most people hear about Flushing, they usually think of it as the eastern terminus of the 7 train, delicious Asian food, and to some extent the Flushing Remonstrance (yes, Queens figured greatly into the establishment of religious liberty in America). It’s also home to Flushing Town Hall, a performing arts center that brings some of the greatest musicians and dancers to NYC. It truly one of the gems in Queens, and happens to be 150 years old this year.
In particular, it is a major setting for jazz in NYC, and is considered to be “the Jazz Capital of Queens,” by Clyde Bullard, producer of the Jazz Live! Series; he produces other concerts there, too. It’s also received a number of accolades and honors – for instance, the Village Voice proclaimed Flushing Town Hall the Best Jazz Tour in New York City; the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters have performed there. It showcases the Queens Jazz Trail, which guides visitors to the Queens homes of some of the great jazz masters – Louis Armstrong (who lived in nearby Corona), Ella Fitzgerald, and Dizzy Gillespie, to name a few. Then there’s the Queens Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Jam series, providing jam sessions and clinics for local musicians.
Compared to a lot of performing arts institutions in greater New York City, tickets to shows at Flushing Town Hall are a bargain. And by becoming a member ($50/year for individuals, $75/year for families), you get discounts on tickets and more (not to mention free access to participate in the jazz jams!), too. Note that Flushing Town Hall is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., so you’ll receive additional benefits as a result.
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, NY 11354; (718) 463-7700 (GMAP)
Jazzin’ up Queens for 150 years [Times Ledger]