Human Rights Week 2014 is coming up, and as it has been for the past 350 years, Queens is the center of it all. On December 5th, the Flushing Interfaith Council will host a special concert featuring six diverse performing groups — Flamenco expert Barbara Martinez, chanters from the Hindu Temple Society of North America, NEMO (Katy Mantyk and Nemanja Rebic), TOMO Japan Choral Harmony, Willow Interfaith Women’s Choir (below), and Zikrayat (above) — in Flushing Town Hall. Expect folk songs, Hindu chants, Flamenco stomping, and Arab rhythms, but there might be some Gospel, Latin motets, and Hebrew rounds as well. The interfaith council’s goal is to celebrate religious freedom and raise awareness about religious persecution, so proceeds will benefit its Peace and Justice Committee and Burma Task Force USA.
Details: Deeper Harmonies, Flushing Town Hall, 135-35 Northern Boulevard, December 5th, 7 pm, $10-$15.
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.
Workshop details: Flushing Town Hall, November 22nd, 1 pm, $6/$4 for children.
Photo: Martha Redbone FB
Remember: Whatever happens under the mistletoe, stays under the mistletoe. As part of the 27th Annual Holiday Historic House Tour, seven local landmarks will offer seasonal refreshments, organize time-honored activities, and provide glimpses of Christmas celebrations from as far back as the 17th century on Sunday, December 7th. Visitors will be able to check out any (or all) of the venues — Kingsland Homestead; Voelker Orth Museum; Lewis H. Latimer House Museum; Friends Meeting House; Flushing Town Hall; Bowne House; and Louis Armstrong House Museum — and a van will continuously run between sites from 1 pm to 5 pm.
After the jump, more information on each participating venue and its tour plans… (more…)
The Queens hills are alive with the sound of music…high quality and diverse music. This weekend there’s something for just about every ear as bands are ready to play jazz, symphony, folk, classical, Irish, and bee bop. There’s even an autism-friendly trombone concert. Details on seven performances are after the jump.
This weekend, a culture lover could trek to Korea, then Cuba, then China or simply hang out at Flushing Town Hall and experience the greatness of all these countries. On Friday, the Northern Boulevard landmark will host Juris Kuns (bottom), a group that mixes the time-honored and cutting edge with an acoustic guitar, bass guitar, percussion and janggu, a Korean drum with an hourglass-shaped body and two heads that produce different pitches and timbres, representing the harmony of man and woman when played together.
On Saturday night, two-time Grammy nominee Dafnis Prieto (middle), who won a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2011, will honor his African-Cuban heritage with congas, timbales and the layered rhythms of rhumba and son. Then on Sunday afternoon, beautiful music and motion mix in CrossCurrent, when Luxembourg International Composition prize-winner Huang Ruo and the New Asia Chamber Music Society share the stage with members of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company (above).
Event details after the jump. (more…)
Sometimes Queens is so diverse it’s scary. Upcoming Halloween events include everything from senior events to youth events; cemetery fun to casino fun; and food-making to mask-making. And let’s not even begin to discuss all the great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. To aid decision-making, the Queens Tourism Council suggests the following activities because they combine enjoyment with safety, enrichment, and even some sweet treats. They appear on the jump page.
He has presented an annual concert since age 5. He made his orchestral debut and composed his first orchestral work at age 6. His television show debuted when he was age 7. Now, he’s 10 years old, and he’s ready to give a concert in Queens. More info on jump page.
On Friday, Queens will demonstrate that it has the cachet to attract three big musical acts on the same night, the top-notch venues to host them, and the appreciative fan base to make it all worthwhile. The hard-working Jason Mraz, who went from the San Diego coffee house circuit to international tours in the world’s biggest stadiums, will perform at the Colden Auditorium at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts. This two-time Grammy winner (and six-time nominee), whose probably best known for “Love Someone,” will jam with the eclectic rock-folk band Raining Jane. Two more concerts and two more photos after jump.
A donor has given the Flushing Town Hall a good challenge for the season. If the historic arts venue can raise $35,000 in new donations by February 2015, the donor promises to contribute another $35,000. The challenge takes effect today and applies to any new or increased contributions — not pre-existing financial commitments — from individuals, foundations and businesses. Flushing Town Hall set up a video where Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek describes the challenge, as well as a website. The website is the best place to go if you are interested in making a donation.
The “35″ in “$35,000″ represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, which works on developing and promoting the arts throughout Queens and puts on the art and educational programs at Flushing Town Hall.