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.
In many ways, he’s the Louis Armstrong of South Africa. And just like Satchmo, he makes beautiful music in Queens. Hugh Masekela is a world-renowned trumpeter, bandleader, composer and singer who was also very involved in defying Apartheid in his home country. His career has spanned five decades during which he has released more than 40 albums.
Vusi Mahlasela is known as ‘The Voice” in South Africa. With poetic, optimistic lyrics, his songs of hope connect the Apartheid-scarred past with a promise for a better future. He even performed at Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration in 1994.
Masekela and Mahlasela are now touring together for the first time ever, and they will make a stop in Queens next week. More details and a photo follow.
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.
It’s the most diverse county in the world and the best tourism destination in the United States, so it’s no surprise that Queens is overflowing with wonderful Valentine’s Day activities and bargains. In fact, local chances for romance and fun related to this international holiday are so numerous that they run for more than two weeks and include everything from live music to a “love run,” hotel getaways, and even a blood drive for the do-gooders. Another photo and many more details are on the jump page.
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.
As it’s located in the world’s most diverse county and it’s dedicated to providing a global education, Queens College offers cultural and academic enrichment programs on a different nation each school year. For 2014-2015, the Flushing institution is focusing on South Africa and presenting various events to explore its history, art, literature, dance, film, and ethnicity. More information on the jump page.
It’s so much more than a hometown band. Now in its 63rd year, Queens Symphony Orchestra offers about 20 live performances annually, as well as educational programs, chorale concerts, and operas. This Sunday, the ensemble will perform a family-friendly version of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Vegetable Garden, a 1936 musical fantasy about a boy who ventures out of a safe garden into a dangerous meadow where he has to use his cunning to survive. The score will include Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4. Plus, the orchestra (seen above during The Frog Prince and Peter and the Wolf at LeFrak Concert Hall last February) will hold a “Meet the Instruments” event beforehand during which attendees can talk to the musicians, check out their tools of the trade, and learn about the concert’s theme.
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.
On Sunday the eleventh, a repeat of my journey to the institution, housed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was enacted. This time, the Queens Museum was merely the place where a walking tour of the so called Iron Triangle at Willets Point was meeting up, an excursion led by the official Queens Borough Historian – Dr. Jack Eichenbaum. I’ve been lucky enough to know him for a while now, and I’m pretty sure that we met during the Queensboro Bridge Centennial celebrations back in 2009. When I heard that he would be doing this tour, inquiries whether or not I could come along were made and he graciously invited me (and you Q’Stoners) along.
Here’s what we saw along the way – with lots of photos after the jump.