A member of Gospel music’s royal family performs in Flushing this week. Maybe he’ll attend a new exhibit on the King of Jazz in Corona while in town. Then again, maybe he’ll participate in a ping pong/art project. Or he might check out a new documentary on Jackson Heights after listening to live music by Cuban rappers, an Irish folk legend, a jazz pianist, and the Iroquois. Here’s the rundown.
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.
Korean music and dance. African music and dance. Mexican music and dance. Chinese flower-themed music. Then, jazz, Baroque masters, a youth orchestra, protest songs, and Christmas and Chanukah ditties. There’s magic in the Queens air this week. Here’s the rundown.
On Sunday, December 6, seven Queens landmarks will open their doors to the public during the 28th Annual Holiday Historic House Tour. Sponsored by the Queens Historical Society, merry participants will be able to walk at their own pace to the different venues and take a dedicated shuttle from Flushing to Corona from 12:30 pm to 5 pm.
The participating sites — Bowne House; Flushing Town Hall; Friends Quaker Meeting; Kingsland Homestead; Lewis H. Latimer House Museum; Louis Armstrong House Museum; and Voelker Orth Museum Bird Sanctuary & Victorian Garden — will be decorated as they were during Christmas celebrations of yore to present a glimpse into their pasts. They will also offer special, time-honored activities, craft fairs, and refreshments.
More images and descriptions of the venues and their tour plans are on the jump page.
The famous GingerBread Lane returns to Queens this week. The 500 square feet of sweet goodness will be in great company with classic plays, noir films, performance art, poetry, and Himalayan dumplings. An image of the GingerBread marvel and 27 upcoming events are on the jump page.
Modern day patrons of Flushing Town Hall are used to hearing great live jazz. They are also used to hearing many different accents, especially coming from natives of China, Korea, India, and Latin America. Well, this weekend will be a bit different. The jazz will still be great, but the accents will be French Canadian.
On Friday, the Alain Bédard Auguste Quintet will perform modern jazz, original compositions, and “catalytic improvisations” or jam sessions which are the brainchild Bédard, a pianist who founded the label Effendi Records.
Then on Saturday, the Yves Léveillé Quartet will play tunes inspired by jazz as well as classical and world music. A composer and pianist, Léveillé (above) is known for refined, melodious harmonies. He recently won the 2015 Opus award for best jazz concert in Quebec. A discount offer, more information, and a photo of Bédard are on the jump page.
The week’s big news is the re-opening of the Queens International Night Market in Jamaica. Other items include a silent disco, a photo exhibit on Rockaway, outdoor dance, and some end-of-summer staples, such as the Fresh Pond Road Festival. Here’s the rundown.
September 3, Silent Disco, 6 pm. Put on earphones, listen to a deejay, and dance under the stars. Headphones are free, but a credit card or ID must be used as collateral to borrow them. Hunters Point South Park, Center Boulevard between 50th and 54th avenues, Long Island City.
September 4, Suite Summer Festival, through September 6. These site-specific performances invite the audience to rove around the park and participate in an immersive dance experience. (Friday, 6 pm to 7 pm; Saturday, 5 pm to 6 pm; Sunday, 3 pm to 4 pm and 5 pm to 6 pm.) Free. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.
September 4, Free First Fridays, 10 am to 8 pm. Wine-and-beer cash bar, public tours in English and Japanese at 2 pm, and Center of Attention, an extended conversation about a single work of art—Noguchi’s Infant is the topic on this night. Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City.
September 6, Salon Sunday, 1 pm. Artists are welcome to present their work for a 10-minute discussion, and network over cookies and coffee. Open to anyone curious about art and artists. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard.
September 8, Gertrud Parker Exhibit, through September 27. Parker founded the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art. This is the first one-woman display of her watercolors and prints, which combine whimsy with gravity. The Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, 405 Klapper Hall, Flushing.
Children don’t usually enjoy anything that includes the words “back to school.” However, Jamaica hosts a back-to-school fashion show this week with young models and performers that people of all ages will love. Music is a big draw this week with African beats, the blues, choral auditions, doo wop, a drum circle, and jazz. Bike lessons and Jews in Iran are also part of the mix. The details and another photo are on the jump page.
Percussion has the largest musical family. Instruments can be hit, scraped or shaken to create different pitches, notes, and sounds. Plus, they add rhythm and spice to everything from classical music to hip hop to jazz.
Two special upcoming Queens events are based on percussion. The first one is a harvest moon celebration at Flushing Town Hall on August 29. Grammy nominee Juan Gutiérrez, who directs the group Los Pleneros de la 21, will lead a workshop for all-comers followed by a group drumming circle. This San Juan native received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 1996.
The other event involves African cadences. Details and a photo are on the jump page.
Inspiring, blooming Taiwanese orchids are a main draw this week. Ditto for the LIC Block Party and Flushing Night Out, which will feature a little bit of everything (food, music, art, spontaneous creativity). Other options are concerts, comedy, films, puppets, and walking tours. Another photo and all the information are on the jump page.