It’s Jazz Appreciation Month, and the living is easy! Schools, music societies, radio stations and enthusiasts around the country will celebrate this U.S.-born musical genre throughout April. In Corona, the Louis Armstrong House Museum will commemorate with tours featuring an ultra rare recording of Satchmo performing one of his all-time masterpieces, West End Blues, at Freedomland in 1961. This recording, which was recently donated to the Armstrong House by the son of Freedomland sound engineer Peter Denis, ties into the exhibit Louis Armstrong at Freedomland that runs all month. In addition, three rare, remastered CDs from the late Gösta Hägglöf‘s Ambassador Records label of Sweden — Because of You, 1950-1953; Heavenly Music, 1949-1957; and Moments to Remember, 1952-1956 — will be on sale in the gift shop. The month will end with International Jazz Day on April 30, and Armstrong House archivist Ricky Riccardi will lead a listening session and lecture starting at 2 pm.
Jazz Appreciation Month
April 2 to April 30
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107th Street, Corona
Tues.-Fri., 10am-5pm; Sat.-Sun., noon-5pm| $10
February is Black History Month in the United States, and two Corona venues are participating in the NYC 5 Boro Passport to Culture Tour. Visitors to the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center can simply check in at each site and pick up a gift from Applebee’s. (Mention promo code NYCbhm for 10% off a meal purchase.) While supplies last, each Armstrong House guest will receive a rare 1931 photograph of Satchmo in New Orleans. An excerpt from the jazz legend’s own, never-before-published manuscript is printed on the reverse. Langston Hughes Library visitors can check out New York City’s largest circulating Black Heritage reading collection with roughly 40,000 volumes of material about Black Culture. In the other boroughs, the participating sites are the African Burial Ground National Monument, MoCADA, Harlem’s National Jazz Museum, Sandy Ground Historical Society Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Weeksville Heritage Center and the Woodlawn Conservancy.
NYC Black History Month 5 Boro Tour
Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center
100-01 Northern Boulevard, 2 Floor, Corona
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-05 107th Street, Corona, NY 11368
February 1 through February 28
Hours vary by venue | Free
After helping Disneyland open in 1955, Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood Jr. set his sights on designing an amusement park in New York City. On June 19, 1960, Freedomland U.S.A. opened in the Bronx in front of roughly 63,000 guests. Though it closed after just five seasons due to crushing debt, ”The Worlds Largest Entertainment Center” hosted some of the era’s biggest talent, including Chubby Checker, Tony Bennett and Queens resident Louis Armstrong.
Now that we are in the final stretch of 2012, the “best of” lists are starting to come out. Time Out New York has put together their list for the top attractions in Queens, and here are the winners (with our own descriptions):
CitiField – This is a great stadium to see a ballgame, and we prefer it to Yankee Stadium, also a new ballpark. The views from all over the stadium are great and it feels like it was created on a very human scale. Their food is also excellent – Shake Shack and Blue Smoke come to mind immediately. Congrats again to R.A. Dickey of the NY Mets, for his Cy Young Award this past year.