08/19/15 1:00pm

Jazzmobile Block Party

He’s a one-stop shop for Jazz and Latin music. Bobby Sanabria, a seven-time Grammy nominee, is probably best known for his drumming and percussion, but he’s also an activist, arranger, composer, conductor, educator, ensemble leader, filmmaker, producer, and recording artist. Over a five-decade career, this South Bronx native with Puerto Rican roots has played with such diverse stars as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, and Mongo Santamaria.

On Thursday, August 20, Sanabria and his quartet will headline the festivities at the annual Jazzmobile Block Party in front of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona. Information on the other planned activities and another photo are on the jump page.

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08/12/15 2:00pm

San

A concert by Carlos Santana (above, right) is the week’s highlight, but Yo-Yo Ma and even the Beatles make appearances. These events are joined by countless outdoor activities, such as movies, music, water fun, 19th century crafts and a honey festival. The rundown is on the jump page.

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08/07/15 1:00pm

Sayer

She is single-handedly re-popularizing the four-string banjo in jazz and breaking all stereotypes about banjo players at the same type.

Cynthia Sayer is an award-winning instrumentalist, vocalist and bandleader who rose to prominence as a founding member of Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band. Known for eclectic, swing-based shows, her career includes performances in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and appearing with The New York Philharmonic.

On August 15, Sayer brings her Sparks Fly Quartet to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona. The group’s classic jazz core pays tribute to Satchmo, while its eclectic repertoire embraces musical influences of the 1920s and 1930s.

Details: Cynthia Sayer & Her Sparks Fly Quartet, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, August 15, 2 pm, $18 (advance tickets include red beans & rice and sweet tea plus a free historic house tour pass).

Photo: Cynthia Sayer

07/15/15 1:00pm

Grabbers_06

It’s another huge week for outdoor music with classical, funk, gospel, hip hop, jazz, a tribute to the Beatles, and two Italian nights. Other options include a new night market, sculpture, story-telling, an e-waste recycling event, an art conference, pie-crumbling, and poetry.

July 16, Queens Night Market, 6 pm to 11 pm. A social event and night market with food, crafts, live performances, and a deejay. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.

July 16, SummerStage: Lyricist Lounge, 7 pm. Large Professor, a hip hop producer from Flushing, and Marley Marl, a hip hop producer from Queensbridge, perform. Free. Queensbridge Park, vicinity of 41st Road, 40th Avenue, Vernon Boulevard, and the East River, LIC.

July 16, Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band, 6:30 pm. Through the Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza program, Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band present Latin jazz fusion invigorated by Afro-Caribbean musical styles. Free. Bliss Plaza, Queens Boulevard and 46th Street under the elevated 7 train station, Sunnyside. (more…)

07/08/15 12:00pm

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George Clinton and Funkadelic highlight a series of free outdoor concerts this week. In addition to the live music, fun-seekers can choose a Colombia flower extravaganza (above), a noncompetitive bike race, a book festival, plenty of movies, and a night market. Here’s the rundown.

July 9, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, 7:30 pm. The Central Astoria LDC’s 2015 Waterfront Concert Series begins with a night of music from the Harlem Renaissance (1930s-1940s). Free. Astoria Park’s Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool.

July 9, Preview Screening of Boulevard with director Dito Montiel in person, 7 pm. The movie Boulevard premiered to warm praise at the Tribeca Film Festival, but its release was delayed after main actor Robin Williams’s death last summer. Now it premieres on July 10, but it screens at the Museum of the Moving Image the night before with Astoria-born director Montiel in attendance. $15. MMI, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 9, Flushing Historical Diversity Tour, 6:30 pm. Official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum walks and talks about the area’s past and present. $12/$6 for children. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard. (more…)

07/03/15 1:00pm

tour

On your mark. Get set. Go…but not too fast. On July 12, the eighth annual Tour de Queens will take participants on a roughly 20-mile loop that starts and ends in Astoria Park. Basically a rolling parade, the tour rides en masse at a family-friendly pace –about 10 mph — with NYPD escorts, volunteer safety marshals, and occasional stops at intersections to gather riders. This year’s route goes through Long Island City, Sunnyside, Rego Park, Forest Hills, and Corona with an optional rest stop with light snacks and water at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village.

Proceeds go to Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that promotes bicycling, walking, and the use of public transit in New York City.

Details: Tour de Queens, meet in the Astoria Park parking lot off 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue North, Astoria, July 12, 8 am check in, $22.50.

Photo by Tour de Queens

07/02/15 1:00pm

Ladybugs

It’s been an Independence Day tradition for many years.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum kicks off its ninth-annual, three-gig Hot Jazz/Cool Garden series on July 4 with sizzling live music, red beans and rice (Satchmo’s favorite), and sweet tea. The Ladybugs (above), a traditional jazz vocal group known for intricate harmonies, lead the way. With a repertoire that favors music from the 1920s-1940s, all band members sing while each one plays ukulele, guitar, trombone, bass or drums.

Jon-Erik Kellso & Friends will take to the outdoor stage in the museum’s garden on July 18. A trumpeter who started playing in a big band at age 11, Kellso has jammed all over the world with such greats as Wynton Marsalis and The EarRegulars. On Monday and Tuesday nights, he shares the stage with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks at Iguana on West 54th Street in Manhattan.

The final concert stars Cynthia Sayer & Her Sparks Fly Quartet on August 15. Led by acclaimed banjoist/vocalist Sayer, this classic jazz core pays tribute to Louis Armstrong with an eclectic repertoire that also embraces other musical influences of the 1920s and 1930s.

Plus, the exhibit Red Beans & Ricely Yours: Louis Armstrong & Food will be on display at the house during these shows.

Details: Hot Jazz/Cool Garden 2015, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, July 4, July 18 and August 15, 2 pm, $18/$45 for series subscription.

Photo by The Ladybugs

07/01/15 11:00am

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The big news this week is the Macy’s fireworks show, which will happen in the sky above Long Island City on July 4. There’s also plenty of outdoor fun with concerts, movie screenings, and even a beach campfire. Here’s the rundown.

July 2, Outdoor Movies, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival presents independent foreign films. Free. Diversity Plaza, vicinity of 74th Street/Jackson Heights subway stop.

July 2, Beach Campfire, 7 pm. National park rangers organize a campfire. Bring fixings for s’mores, blankets, and beach chairs. Free. Jacob Riis Park, Boardwalk and Beach 169th Street.

July 3, Young Mr. Lincoln, 7 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Young Mr. Lincoln presents a series of minor, mainly fictionalized events examining the U.S. president. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 4, Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Series, 2 pm. The Ladybugs provide the music. The house provides the red beans, rice, sweet tea, tours, and birthday cake in honor of Satchmo’s birthday. The Ladybugs are a traditional jazz vocal group known for intricate harmonies and experimental arrangements with ukulele, guitar, trombone, bass, and drums. $18/$45 series subscription. Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona.

July 4, Pilgrimage, 2 pm; Judge Priest, 4:30 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Pilgrimage is about a mother who sends her son to war to prevent his marriage to a woman she doesn’t like. In Judge Priest, Will Rogers plays a noble judge who tries to vindicate the secret father of a girl and change southern prejudices. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 5, The Prisoner of Shark Island, 2 pm; The Grapes of Wrath, 4:30 pm; Judge Priest, 7 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Prisoner of Shark Island is about Dr. Samuel Mudd, the man who unwittingly treated John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln’s assassination. With Henry Fonda, Grapes of Wrath is an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel about Depression-era Okies on the road to California. In Judge Priest, Will Rogers plays a noble judge who tries to vindicate the secret father of a girl and change southern prejudices. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 6, Bug Week + Bug Day, through July 11. From 1 pm to 3 pm, take part in insect- related activities. Hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach, observe bees in a hive, make a bee mask. $12-$15. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona.

July 6, Lego Camp with Bricks 4 Kidz, through July 31. Each week children (ages 5-12) get a new design challenge that builds spatial and critical thinking and engages them in creative and educational play. Themes include: Amusement Park Camp, Space Adventure Camp, Super Hero Academy Camp, and Robotics. $225 per week for half day or $450 per week for full day; or $800/month to $1,600/month. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 7, The Iron Giant, dusk. Outdoor movie screening. Free. O’Donohue Park Performance Space, Beach 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard, Far Rockaway.

July 8, Live-In Maid, 7 pm. The 17th annual, eight-week Outdoor Cinema Festival includes open-air cinema, music, dance, and food. All films are presented in their original language with English subtitles and every film is projected onto a 40-foot wide screen. Live-In Maid is about a still-elegant divorcée, living in a fashionable Buenos Aires apartment. Her maid of 30 years massages her feet and freshens her drinks, but makes moves to abandon her. Free. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.

July 8, Bridges and Sunsets: Roosevelt Island Tour, 6:30 pm. Official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum leads a walking tour of the Roosevelt Island bridge and a stroll down to the island’s southern tip, where a new park honors FDR. $20, jaconet@aol.com.

July 8, Italian Nights 2015, 7:30 pm. The Federation of Italian American Organizations of Queens presents outdoor live music and dancing every Wednesday through Aug. 26. Free. Athens Square Park, 30th Street and 30th Avenue, Astoria.

Photo by 20th Century Fox

06/17/15 11:00am

BFL Derby

Van Morrison, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Met Opera stars, and the Muppets are the world famous celebrities providing entertainment and enrichment in the borough this week. Other possibilities are a LEGO fest, comedy, seniors singing Broadway, a Summer Solstice event, and an International Yoga Day gala. Here’s the rundown.

June 18, Music Under the 7 Train, 6:30 pm. The Street Beat Brass Band presents a multicultural program of brass-based and street-based music from various parts of the world. Free. Bliss Plaza, Queens Boulevard and 46th Street under the 7 train station, Sunnyside.

June 18, Big Band Music, 6:30 pm. New York City Swing plays big band favorites by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington. Free. Queens Library’s Howard Beach Branch, 92-06 156th Avenue, Howard Beach. (more…)

06/11/15 1:00pm

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On Monday, we posted about the Historic Jackson Heights Weekend, which features two days of walking tours around the neighborhood. This was accurate as far as it goes, but it deserves an amplification, as there are guided treks all around the borough this weekend.

On Saturday, official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum gives his signature expedition, The World of the 7 Train. It’s actually a series of six walks along with subway rides. He discusses the history and impact of the 7 line, while stopping in Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, and Flushing, where the event ends with lunch, probably at a Chinese restaurant. (more…)