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.
There’s no place like hip-hop home. The rappers Havoc and Prodigy, who work together as the infamous Mobb Deep (above), will return to their native Queensbridge housing projects to give a free concert on July 17th as part of the NYC Parks SummerStage Presents series. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring 15 of the world’s finest soloists and ensemble players and led by Wynton Marsalis, is also scheduled to perform this month, as are Ismael Miranda, aka “El niño bonito de la Salsa,” and laid-back Washington, D.C.-based R&B vocalist J. Holiday. But the extravaganza offers more than music, as the Harambee Dance Company (below) will perform and Puppetmobile and Teatro SEA will appear as part of SummerStage Kids.
It was a very good day for Satchmo. On June 30, 1964, the World’s Fair organizers declared the date “Louis Armstrong Day,” and the legendary Corona resident and his All Stars performed at the Singer Bowl in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In honor of this history — and to have another very good day — the inaugural Louis Armstrong International Music Festival will happen on June 29th in almost the same exact place, featuring live music, dancing, and a food truck rally. Multi Grammy Award-winning Cuban-American salsa singer Albita (above) headlines the show. Other scheduled performers are the Jon Faddis Quartet, led by trumpeter Jon Faddis (below); Junoon with Salman Ahmad; and David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band.
Details: The Louis Armstrong International Music Festival, produced by Kupferberg Center for the Arts/Queens College, Parade Ground near the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, June 29th, 1 pm to 7 pm, rain or shine, free.
Basically, she arrived on Broadway in the 1950s and never left. After being the ingénue in Flahooley in 1951 and then starring in the original musicals Plain and Fancy (1955), Candide (1956) and The Music Man (1957), Barbara Cook has gone on to win two Grammys, one Tony, a Kennedy Center lifetime achievement award and countless other accolades, including White House performances in front of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush I and Clinton. A silvery soprano, Cook is known for her purity of tone and warm-but-strong stage presence. On Saturday night, this Atlanta native will perform selections from her newly developed repertoire of jazz and swing while also reprising her classics from Broadway and the great American songbook at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.
Details: Broadway Legend Barbara Cook, Colden Auditorium, Queens College, Kissena Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing, May 10th, 8 pm, $45/$55/$69 (save 20% off four tickets by using code barbara20, www.kupferbergcenter.org/events/barbara-cook).
It’s extremely romantic, and thanks to a special discount, it’s a cheap date. Put simply, Christine Andreas and Martin Silvestri are the masters of the amorous ballad. This husband-and-wife team makes audiences laugh, smile and cry (sometimes at the same time) with brilliant lyrics and melodies mixed with stage antics, humor and human chemistry. Andreas (above), who once starred in Broadway revivals of My Fair Lady and Oklahoma, likes to combine her soprano voice with wheeling vibrato and the emotionality that springs from her acting past as she sings traditional pop, cabaret and theater tunes. Silvestri tickles the ivories with skill and grace. On Valentine’s Day, these lovebirds will perform at LeFrak Concert Hall, and the host (Kupferberg Center for the Arts) has decided to offer a $5 discount to Queens Brownstoner readers.
Details: Love Is Good, LeFrak Concert Hall at Queens College, vicinity of Horace Harding Expressway and Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, February 14th, 8 pm, $38-$59 (Use code “valentine” for $5 off tickets.) (more…)
The Super Bowl is coming to Queens! Well, some of the pre-game hype is. On January 27th, J. Cole (above and below) will open the six-concert VH1′s Super Bowl Blitzat the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. One of the genre’s most respected lyricists, this German-born hip-hop sensation’s first album hit number one on the Billboard 200 in 2011 and scored a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. On the following nights through February 1st, other VH1 Super Bowl Blitz shows will include Janelle Monáe in the Bronx, Fall Out Boy in Brooklyn, TLC in Manhattan, Goo Goo Dolls in Staten Island and Gavin DeGraw in New Jersey. The concerts will be streamed live in the VH1 App and made available on-demand in the app and at SuperBowl.VH1.com the day after each live concert.
Details: J. Cole, Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Vicinity of Horace Harding Expressway and Kiseena Boulevard, Flushing, January 27th, 9:30 pm, buy tickets here.
They’re really nice. They’re going to do it twice. And the price is bound to entice. Ballet Hispánico will bring its unique fusion of classical, Latin and contemporary dance — with extra helpings of passion and theatricality, not to mention a repertoire of more than 100 diverse works — to Flushing on February 8th and February 9th. To add to the fun, the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, the event organizer, is offering $5 ticket discounts.
Details: Ballet Hispánico, Goldstein Theatre at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, vicinity of Kissena Boulevard and Horace Harding Parkway, Flushing, February 8th at 8 pm and February 9th at 3 pm, $49 and $29, click here for tickets, to save $5, use the code “ballet.”(Must mention promo code at checkout. Offer may not be combined. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. While tickets last. Limit 8 per order. Additional fees may apply. Offer expires on February 7th.)
During Halloween Week, it’s all about pumpkins, costumes and trick-or-treating. But once it’s over, the Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Winter Solstice pre-season begins. The Kupferberg Center for the Arts is already planning for the December rush by offering a special “*me-plus-three promotion” (buy four tickets, get one free) for its holiday concert with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart. With a 75-piece orchestra and 60-member chorus, these world-class musicians will capture the magic of the season and the charm of a New England winter with their signature Sleigh Ride, as well as other holiday classics and new arrangements of seasonal favorites. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance during the finale and the entire audience will be invited to join in a traditional Boston Pops Holiday Sing-a-long to bring this special performance to a close.
It’s the queen of all homecomings! Cynthia Ann Stephanie “Cyndi” Lauper, who grew up in Ozone Park, will return to the borough this Sunday for a concert at the Colden Auditorium as part of her three-continent She’s So Unusual 30th Anniversary Tour. The one-time Richmond Hill High School student with a four-octave voice range will perform songs from her breakout 1983 album, She’s So Unusual, such as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time” and “She Bop.” She’ll also share intimate, never-before-told anecdotes of her personal life while wooing the crowd with her sui generis fashion sense.
Editor’s Note: The Queens Tourism Council is offering a special discount to Queens Brownstoner readers: Save $15* on $75 and $55 orchestra seats with code: ppcyndi (please note that code is case sensitive so entire copy must be lowercase). Purchase tickets here. (more…)
Bahia was the center of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in Brazil for centuries, and many African customs, practices and creeds are still very alive in the state. These include the Yoruba-derived religious system of Candomblé, the martial art capoeira, the music genre samba and the Balé Folclórico da Bahia, the South American country’s only professional folk dance company. Exploding with color, movement, music, mystery and drama, the troupe features dozens of dancers, musicians and singers that bring an infectious energy to every performance. On October 18th, Balé Folclórico da Bahia will fill the Colden Auditorium with its thrilling choreography, joyous rhythms and generally feisty, flirtatious exuberance.
Details: Balé Folclórico da Bahia, Colden Auditorium at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, October 18th, 8 pm, $29-$59.