The mission of Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts (FCCA) is to present multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens, New York and New York City, New York, in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, ...
Five concerts this spring pair music and dance by groups from wildly different backgrounds for a night of cross-cultural fun
Queens is the world in microcosm, with around 138 languages (at last count) spoken in the borough. Yet “everyone tends to stay in their own community,” notes Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director.
To break down some of these walls, to see what happens when neighbors meet, mingle, and dance together, the Queens art hub came up with a novel approach: Global Mashups, when two bands from radically different places and styles share a bill, then jam together, often for the first time, during a third set. This is the fifth edition of these mashups, and FTH has it down to an art.
“Our mission is to bring people together, so this idea to pair unexpected artists across community lines really evolved organically,” says Kodadek. “We wanted to bring people together from diverse backgrounds in a fun way through music and dance. We do a lot of cross-cultural programing in our gallery and the theater, and this felt like the perfect approach for our music programs.”
This year’s round of Global Mashups shows how well the model can work, as musicians discover just how much they have in common, right there on stage. If they can do it, the series suggests, we can all follow their lead. Each performance is preceded by quick but fun dance lessons, to give concert goers all the basic moves they need to get out of their seat and make the most of the music. “It’s been a wildly successful set of programs,” Kodadek reflects.
This year’s lineup includes:
March 9: Bollywood Meets Global Roots Blues (the polychrome glamor of singer Falu + maverick bluesmen Hazmat Modine)
March 23: Western Swing Meets Balkan Brass (the old-school American roots of The Brain Cloud + pan-Slavic fireworks of Romashka)
April 6: Latin Boogaloo Meets Klezmer (the vintage-inspired Latin grooves of Spanglish Fly + wild inventiveness of Frank London)
April 20: Bluegrass Meets Cuba (Buddy Merriam and Backroads + Afro-Cuban dynamos Conjunto Guantanamo)
May 4: Balkan Punk Meets West Africa (Toronto’s Balkanic rebels Lemon Bucket Orkestra + high-energy Kakande)
Many Queens families are themselves mashups, representing people who come together from diverse cultures to create something wonderfully new. “One of the coolest aspects of these evenings is when we get married couples who come because one spouse is from one culture, and the other from another,” Kodadek recounts. “People bring their kids, and the show demonstrates that cultural combinations are totally normal and fun. It’s really wonderful to see.”
All shows start at 7 PM (dance lessons), 8 PM (concert and jam) at Flushing Town Hall (137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing NY 11354). Ticket and other information can be found at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222. Price: $16/$10 FTH Members & Students/FREE for Teens
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, arts 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.
Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts dba Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Council Members Adrienne Adams, Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Barry Grodenchik, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Francisco Moya, Paul A. Vallone, and Jimmy Van Bramer; and the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.
Support for our programs is also provided by Atlantic Philanthropies Director/Employee Designated Gift Program, Cathay Bank, Michael Cheng / Epos Development, Chinese Overseas University, Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou / New York Institute of Culture and the Arts, Con Edison, Crossings TV, Heidi & Jonathan Davis, Exploring the Metropolis, Steven Facey, Kuang-Yu Fong / Chinese Theatre Works, Barbara Garii, The Glow Foundation, Heather Harrison, Raymond D. Jasen, Jim Henson Foundation, Keith Haring Foundation, Ellen Kodadek, Kenneth Koranyi, Nelson Lee / Flushing Bank, Law Offices of Vincent Toomey, James S. Liao, Emily Lin / Lin & Loveall Foundation, Linden Arts Fund for Children, Anita Liu, Louis Armstrong Education Foundation, Lyell Korea, Materials for the Arts, William McClure, NYC & Company Foundation, New York Community Bank Foundation, Northwell Health, Queens Art Education Center / Arthur Liu, Queens College, Queens Courier, Georgiana Reese-Benatti, RuDance / Asian American Dance Sport Corp., Mike Sperendi & Jan Schneider, Vincent Toomey, Mei Ya Tsai, Veronica Tsang, Claire Shulman, Tai & Tony Wang / WAC Lighting, Jay Wegman, Jonathan White, Edwina & Eldwin Wong, Minwen Yang, Hank Yeh, and gifts made in loving memory of Amal Hussain and Irene and Maxwell Seligman.