(Flushing, N.Y.)—While New Orleans may be known as the “birthplace of jazz,” Queens can proudly claim that it has been home to countless jazz legends, like Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong.
For 40 years, Flushing Town Hall has celebrated jazz’s history, founded the Queens Jazz Orchestra, published a Queens Jazz Trail map, presented some of the most popular jazz events in the region starring NEA Jazz Masters (many appearing on stage for the first time together, exclusively), and held monthly Jazz Jams where novice and experienced artists come to jam together.
Now the landmark arts and cultural venue is about to embark on a new chapter of jazz history, presenting its first-ever Jazz Jam All-Stars event on Sunday, August 4, when 10 musicians – from Queens and Long Island – will take the stage together. And then all will assemble on the steps of Flushing Town Hall for a portrait echoing the famed black-and-white image, “A Great Day in Harlem,” that featured 57 jazz musicians. The event will help raise funds to keep the monthly Jazz Jams free to musicians.
“I’m so thrilled for all of the All-Stars!,” says Gabrielle M. Hamilton, Flushing Town Hall’s Director of Education and Public Programs. “When Flushing Town Hall first launched our monthly Jazz Jams eight years ago, a small group of amateur and professional musicians and fans gathered. Over time these wonderful artists have developed their artistic skills and formed professional alliances, even as our artists and audience members have grown and bonded. Now our jams feature amazing performances from all of our artists and a strong sense of community and fellowship. The All-Stars concert is a fundraiser in celebration of their talent and our Flushing Town Hall Jazz Jam ‘family’ and I invite all music lovers – from Queens and beyond – to join us in this communal musical spectacular!”
The 10 musicians all have been among the hundreds this year who’ve been part of Flushing Town Hall’s Monthly Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong, held the first Wednesday evening every month by accomplished jazz musician Carol Sudhalter of Astoria. Sudhalter has watched the monthly sessions double in attendance since she stepped in in 2016.
“This concert is a landmark event in the history of jazz in Queens. No one should miss this presentation of some of our most promising artists,” said Sudhalter, who will emcee the August 4 concert.
Sudhalter, who teaches jazz improvisation, flute, sax, clarinet and piano, and masterclasses in jazz and in “English Diction for Singers” throughout the United States and in Italy, has pioneered several jazz series in Queens.
The concert will feature some of the music of Louis Armstrong and close with a group jam. The event will begin with a reception at 6:00 PM, followed by a concert at 7:30 PM. Starring in the show are:
• Sharif Kales (trumpet) of Flushing
• Sarah Turkiew (baritone saxophone) of Bethpage, Long Island
• Keith Jordan (guitar) of Hollis Hills
• Iga Flyree Mrozek (vocals) of Jackson Heights
• Frank Robinson (vocals) of Jamaica
• Gary Davis (vocals) of East Elmhurst
• Jose Luis Armengot (trumpet) of Rego Park
• Victor Acosta (alto saxophone) of Kew Gardens
• Glen Lowe (drums) of Corona
• Mamoru Tashiro (guitar) of Astoria
Accompanying the Jazz Jam All-Stars – and joined by Sudhalter – are house band members Joe Vincent Tranchina, Eric Lemon, and Scott Neumann.
Performance tickets are $20, $15 for Members and free to students and teenagers (between 13 and 19 years old). Tickets can be purchased at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train, and foot—located a short distance from the 7 train—at 137-35 Northern Blvd. in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.
Jazz Jam All-Stars
SUN, AUG 4, 7:30 PM
$20/$15 Members & Students/FREE for Teens
This concert features the high-caliber musicians who regularly perform at the Louis Armstrong Monthly Jazz Jam backed by our house band led by Carol Sudhalter. Reception at 6:00 PM, followed by a celebratory group photo reminiscent of “A Great Day of Harlem.” All local musicians are welcome to join. The concert will feature some of the music of Louis Armstrong, and close with a group jam.
Monthly Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong
WED, AUG 7, 7:00 PM
$10/FREE for Members, Students, Teens & Jamming Musicians
Open to Jazz students, musicians, and music educators, Monthly Jazz Jams are a fun way to hone your skills and jam with your peers. The house band led by saxophonist Carol Sudhalter opens each jam with the work of Louis Armstrong. Don’t play? Come listen!
About Flushing Town Hall
Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City, in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, art enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.
For Tickets & More info:
(718) 463-7700 x222
137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11354
A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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