12/14/15 1:00pm

BeBe Winans at Kupferberg Center for the Arts

He’s a third-generation member of the First Family of Gospel. He has various Grammy awards in his trophy room. And now, he’s preparing for a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day concert in Flushing, and the host venue is offering discounts on ticket prices.

BeBe Winans, who is is known for “vocals that soar, harmonies that chime, and lyrics that touch the heart and soul,” will perform at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts on January 17 as part of a program that includes a keynote address from Reverend Floyd H. Flake, Senior Pastor of the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York, and a ceremony honoring Andrew Jackson, Executive Director of the Langston Hughes Community Library in Corona.

Tickets are $35, but readers of this blog can get 20 percent discounts by using the code “MLKKCA” before January 15, 2016. More information on the concert and another image are on the jump page.


12/11/15 1:00pm

Sarah Cahill at Noguchi Museum

The piano hides no secrets from Sarah Cahill. The California native has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous solo compositions, and she has researched and recorded pieces by various other composers, premiering some of them.

Cahill hides no secrets about her love of the piano. She has a weekly radio show. She’s on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory. And she’s going to curate a monthly new music series at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Yesterday, Noguchi Museum unveiled a secret about Cahill. For one week in February (24-28), she will take up residence in the Long Island City venue, performing post-minimalist composer Mamoru Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants during opening hours. A cycle of short pieces, this work is a fusion of nature and technology. To create it, Fujieda measured the electrical impulses on the leaves of plants, using Plantron, a device created by botanist/artist Yūji Dōgane. Fujieda then converted the data he obtained into sound via Max, a visual programming language used for music and multimedia. Another photo and more information on this project are on the jump page.


Ronald K. Brown at Queens Theatre

Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence Dance Company use physical movement and the spoken word to unite two concepts: portraying unseen spirituality and expressing the endurance, suffering, and triumph of the African diaspora. The troupe mixes everything from modern urban choreography to ballet to sabar, a flirtatious, celebratory West African dance that involves arm swinging, hip twisting, jumping, and knee lifting.

Based in Brooklyn, Brown has won various prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Bessie, and he has taught at Harvard College. His troupe, which was founded in 1986, travels the world, performing, teaching, organizing workshops, and establishing cultural connections.

This weekend, Brown and Evidence will hold three performances at Queens Theatre. Another image and more information are on the jump page.


12/09/15 1:00pm

Lou Donaldson at Flushing Town Hall

They call him “Sweet Poppa,” and he’s arguably the best alto saxophonist of all time. Lou Donaldson found his sound — a jazzy, blues-drenched, soulful groove — in 1952. He continued to sweeten it over the years as a pioneer in the Bebop and Hard Bop genres, which feature fast tempos, instrumental skill, and improvisation. He made a series of classic recordings, most notably “Alligator Bogaloo,” during the 1950s and 1960s with Blue Note Records. On Saturday, December 12, he brings his quartet to Flushing Town Hall for a special concert. More information and another image are on the jump page.


12/04/15 1:00pm

Greater Astoria Historical Society

This American dream is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee (aka its 100th anniversary).

In 1915, Emanuele Ronzoni, an immigrant from Italy who had worked at a macaroni plant in Manhattan, founded his own company and opened a production facility at 35th Street and Northern Boulevard in Long Island City. The specialty was Genoa-style, fancy-cut noodles.

His children, aunts, uncles, and cousins joined him over the decades, and they opened a larger, more modern factory at 50th Street and Northern Boulevard — where a Home Depot stands today — as business boomed in 1950. Some grandchildren came on board in the 1970s before General Foods bought the Ronzoni Macaroni Company in 1984. The plant closed down a few years later.

Emanuele’s great-grandson, Al Ronzoni Jr., will present a lecture on his family’s carbohydrate-rich American tale at the Greater Astoria Historical Society on Monday, December 7. The chronicler, who was known as “Pasta Boy” in his youth, will discuss everything from conversations at his family dinner table on Sundays to the factory’s architecture and he’ll show some vintage photos. Another image and more information on the lecture, which is part of a larger celebration, are on the jump page.


12/03/15 1:00pm

The Tchaikovsky Spectacular

It’s basically a “buy-one-get-three-free” deal.

On Saturday, December 5, the State Ballet Theatre of Russia will present highlights from The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty during its well-traveled Tchaikovsky Spectacular at the Kupferberg Performing Arts Center’s Colden Auditorium in Flushing.

Attendees can expect a glittering production with spectacular athletic feats, ornate costumes, live classical music, and lavish sets. Some might also expect a sit-down dinner and/or the chance to meet Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. More information on these unique offers and two more images of the production are on the jump page.


12/01/15 1:00pm


Russian ballet, a historic house tour, craft markets, a Star Wars-themed road race, and an annual party with a lecture on Ronzoni. It’s definitely the holiday season in Queens! This week also features a cheese festival, a sci-fi expo with an actress from the original Star Trek, and an enchanting story in a labyrinth (above). Another image and 20 upcoming events are on the jump page.


11/24/15 1:00pm

It's In Queens

It’s Thanksgiving time, and Queens is ready for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. But the borough is also geared up for a reggae extravaganza, a Moth SLAM, theater, film, children’s activities, and tree/wreath/poinsettia sales. Another image and 13 upcoming events are on the jump page.


11/23/15 1:00pm

Jamaica Holiday Market

The phrase “too much of a good thing” just doesn’t apply.

On Saturday, December 5, the Winter Craft Market will set up inside Jamaica Market, and vendors will peddle their locally made, artisanal merchandise, food, and beverages from 10 am to 7 pm. Because it’s the holiday season, the bazaar will run the following two Saturdays – December 12 and December 19 – at the same time as well.

The project is actually a version of the Queens International Night Market, which operated outdoors in a lot near the Jamaica bus terminal from September 5 until Halloween. The founder, John Wang, decided to revive the concept after talks with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. Said he: “Visitors will have the chance to pick up locally produced holiday gifts for friends and family, or just treat themselves to fun and unique items that support small artists and crafters.”

More information and another photo are on the jump page.