They aren’t a little country, nor are they a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. But they are Spanish, Indian, Persian, Middle Eastern and Jewish. On April 21, Gypsy Soul (Espiritu Gitano) brings its rich, diverse music and dance to the Thalia Spanish Theatre. The bandleader, guitarist Arturo Martinez, has been a fixture on New York City’s flamenco/gypsy music scene since the 1980s. He will be accompanied by other outstanding artists, including dancers Maya De Silva and Elena Lentini and musicians Tom Chess and Sean Kupisz.
Many more than two will tango in Queens soon. From its roots in 19th century Argentina and Uruguay, the tango spread around the world, taking over the dance scene in post-World War II Finland and eventually being listed on the 2009 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. On January 25, Sunnyside’s Thalia Spanish Theatre hosts the world premiere of afroTango, a musical featuring arrangements and direction by Latin Grammy winner Raul Jaurena, a native of Uruguay who is considered the world’s most prominent bandoneón player and a Tango Nuevo master. The performance, which emphasizes the art form’s African roots, will play for eight weeks with shows on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
afroTango Thalia Spanish Theatre
41-17 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside
Friday, January 25, until Friday, March 15
8pm – 10pm | $35
Image Source: City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer
Sunnyside native Benjamin Andrew Wheeler was among the victims of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To honor this beloved six-year-old and his grieving family – and all who are reeling from this tragedy – the community will gather at Sunnyside Reformed Church today, December 18. Participants will then proceed together to Sunnyside Gardens Park, where Ben and his older brother used to spend countless hours before moving to Connecticut about two years ago. Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who reportedly died valiantly trying to save others from the triggerman, also has family in Queens. Please bring candles and expect songs and speeches. Woodside’s Aubergine Café will provide hot cocoa.
Consider it the All Star Game for Queens food entrepreneurs. Today, December 15, Quaint Restaurant will host a Pop-Up Artisan Market featuring products made by local businesses. Expect Guyanese-influenced Chicken Curry with Roti and Spiced Banana Cake, thanks to Veda’s Catering. The Chocolate Swirl will offer edible Christmas baskets with Cake Pops, Truffles, Mini Cupcakes and Boxed Chocolates. Another local favorite, Mel’s Melting Pot, will have traditional Quebecois chutneys, such a Sweet Fruit Ketchup and its spicy cousin. Tamarind balls, Caribbean spicy cheese, gourmet ice cream and chipotle salsa will also be among the many items on sale.
Pop-Up Artisan Market
46-10 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside
Saturday, December 15
noon – 4pm | Free to enter
Chartered in 1985, the Greater Astoria Historical Society strives to preserve and recall the past as a way to improve the future of Queens. The nonprofit frequently organizes field trips, walking tours, slide presentations, exhibitions and guest lectures throughout the borough (despite its one-neighborhood name).
Looking to fulfill its mission and raise money, GAHS will host a Book Extravaganza at its Broadway headquarters, featuring a mind-boggling selection of fiction and non-fiction covering history, cooking, children’s tales, fantasy, self-help, sci-fi and much more. The group will also sell its signature Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City t-shirts.