Wonderful sounds of Asia, Europe, and Latin America will fill the Queens air this weekend during three different concerts. The fun starts on Saturday afternoon, when the EastRiver Ensemble presents a workshop on Chinese music at 1 pm, followed by a concert at 2:15 pm. This group presents traditional folk music, dance, and acrobatics with a focus on the Dongbei and Hebei regions of north China. Instruments include the yangqin (dulcimer), the pipa (lute), flutes, fiddles, and percussion. More photos and information are on the jump page.
At first glance, calligraphy is a visual art. But upon further investigation, its characters and images also express philosophy, culture, and inspiration. Chao-Lin Ting (above) has been engaging in this practice for roughly nine decades. The Chiangsu Province native is world renowned for his seal and semi-cursive scripts. This Sunday, the 102-year-old will co-present an afternoon dedicated to calligraphy at Flushing Town Hall. At 1 pm, Ting and James Shau will teach the basics of the Chinese genre, while Seoul native Yoo Sung Lee, a professional with over 30 years of practice who wrote a chapter in the World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy will inform on the Korean styles at 3 pm. Plus, the town hall’s walls are currently covered with Ting and Lee’s work as part of the Dynamic Writing: A Century of Calligraphy exhibit, which runs until March 22nd. (Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 pm.)
More details, another photo, and bonus details on jump page.
Back in September, an anonymous donor challenged Flushing Town Hall to raise $35,000 in new donations by February of this year. If the historic arts center reached its goal, the donor promised to contribute another $35,000. Well, here’s some good news straight from Flushing Town Hall: since September more than 300 people donated, for a total of more than $41,000. Says the Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek, “We are extremely heartened by this outpouring of support. People from all walks of life – new and returning visitors, supporters of the arts, neighbors and visitors from afar – all pitched in to help meet this challenge. We even received a number of contributions from people whose names we didn’t even recognize. This is just an amazing response!” The funds will be used to keep things running at Flushing Town Hall, which has undergone significant budget cuts in recent years.
You can donate to the fundraiser until February 28th. The “35″ in “$35,000″ actually represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts.
There’s some confusion as to whether it’s the Year of the Goat, Sheep or Ram, but it’s perfectly clear that Flushing is “The Place” to celebrate Lunar New Year this weekend. The neighborhood will be radiant in the colors red and gold, and red-clothed individuals will be in the street, handing out money wrapped in red envelopes and oranges. The 19th annual parade will kick off in the vicinity of Union Street and 37th Avenue on February 21st at 11 am with an estimated 5,000 spectators, lanterns, fireworks, dancing lions, and large dragons. It will end near Main Street and 39th Avenue about an hour later. However, this is the prize at the end of the stretch; two unique, inspiring Lunar New Year events are set for this weekend.
The Puppet State Theatre Company of Scotland is heading to Flushing Town Hall to present The Man Who Planted Trees (also known as The Story of Elzéard Bouffier) on Sunday. This multi-sensory adaptation of Jean Giono’s classic French tale depicts a shepherd who plants acorn after acorn until transforming a barren section of the Alps into a forest. Often hilarious while at other times touching, this allegorical story demonstrates the difference one man (and his dog) can make in the world.
Meanwhile, Queens Theatre will present Charlotte’s Web, adapted from E.B. White’s book about the friendship between a pig named “Wilbur” and a spider named “Charlotte,” on Sunday. Amid a farm full of mad-cap animals, Charlotte uses her writing and web-spinning skills to help Wilbur avoid being butchered. Another photo, more details, and discount offers follow on the jump page.
Physics and geometry have never been so much fun! Greg Kennedy will perform Spherus, a nonverbal show with two accompanying aerial acrobats that incorporates trapeze, silks, and spinning hoops this Saturday at Flushing Town Hall. Trained as an engineer and a two-time international juggling champion, Kennedy spent five years with Cirque du Soleil. Now, he’s putting it all together with a juggling performance inter-spliced with video that illustrates and explains the principles of motion, light, energy, and gravity. For extra credit, he’ll give a workshop on creating beauty in motion after the show.
Details: Juggling Extravaganza, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, January 24th, 2:15 show, 3:30 pm workshop, $13/$8 for children.
Experience Korea and Japan for free without the jet lag this weekend. On Friday, Flushing Town Hall hosts the Korean world music group NorianMaro, which has 12 members who specialize in an innovative style of traditional performing arts with dance, music, singing, percussion, theater and multi-media. Expect colorful costumes, haunting chants, pulsing movements, dynamic drums, enchanting vocals, and imaginary narratives as the troupe takes the audience to Leodo, a fantasy island treasured by the people in Jeju, a beautiful province in Korea. More details and another photo on jump page.
The legend lives on, but it won’t be pigeonholed. Trumpeter Theo Croker is both a bold newcomer on the jazz-soul scene and the grandson of arch-traditionalist trumpet legend Doc Cheatham, whose seven-decade, award-filled career ended on his death in 1997. Still in his twenties, Croker is deeply immersed in jazz , but he also writes and produces R&B, hip-hop, rap, and film scores, along with contemporary classical music. In addition to his grandfather, this 2006 Presser Music Foundation Award recipient lists Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Outkast among his influences. On Friday, Croker and his DVRK Funk outfit take their act to Flushing Town Hall. Expect some swinging jazz with trumpet, saxophone, drums, bass, piano…and general impunity. More details on jump page.(more…)
Her music reflects the country’s history. She mixes Appalachian folk, Piedmont blues, soul, R&B, and traditional Native American rhythms. It also reflects her Cherokee, Choctaw, African and European DNA. Her 2012 multifaceted work, The Garden of Love, fuses William Blake’s 18th century poetry to music that draws from rural influences of Appalachia. But Martha Redbone is also known for her support of causes reflecting her heritage. She annually holds a traditional music workshop within the United Houma Nation’s Cultural Enrichment Summer Camp program, and regularly gives talks on subjects ranging from indigenous rights to the role of arts in politics. This weekend, Redbone will offer a concert on Friday and then lead a workshop the next day at Flushing Town Hall. Her husband Aaron Whitby will join her on stage, playing keys and melodica, while Alan Burroughs will handle the guitar and vocals, Fred Cash will play bass, and Tony Mason will rock the drums. On Saturday, the interactive, family-friendly music workshop will introduce participants to Native American rhythms and sounds.
Concert details: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, November 21st, 7:30 pm, $15/$10 for students. This event has a special “tweetseat” offer. People who are active on social media can attend for free if they tweet at least five times before, during and after the concert.