Flushing Town Hall Brings Two Cultures To One Stage With Global Mashups #4: Balkans Meets El Barrio

Flushing Town Hall Brings Two Cultures To One Stage With Global Mashups #4: Balkans Meets El Barrio

On Friday, June 1, Flushing Town Hall continues its popular Global Mashups series with Global Mashups #4: Balkans meets El Barrio, featuring Raya Brass Band and the return of Spanglish Fly. Each season, musical artists from across the globe present - and then unite - their melodies in one-of-a-kind performances that are emblematic of Flushing Town Hall's mission to provide global music to a global community.

Representing the Balkans is Raya Brass Band, a Brooklyn-based group that has energized clubs, international festivals, rooftop parties, and subway cars with its hard-driving, original brass band music since 2008. The six members of the band bring their unique voices to the group, creating a sound informed by their love for the fierce and seductive music of the Balkans and by New Orleans brass bands, punk rock, and global music. Featuring trumpet, sax, accordion, tuba, and percussion, this band wails, sweats, and shouts alongside its audience. Check out Raya Brass Band here.

The band is comprised of Greg Squared (saxophone), Ben Syversen (trumpet), Matthew "Max" Fass (accordion), Steven Duffy (tuba), Nezih Antakli (percussion), and Rich Stein (percussion). The New York Times raves that "this Brooklyn collective gleefully upends traditional wedding music of the Balkans and Greece, undercutting regional reeds and brass with decidedly American funk pulse."

Returning to Flushing for its second Global Mashups show this season is Spanglish Fly, called "part band, part celebration." The 12 members of the group ignite a party that quickly spreads to the audience. Boogaloo is a mix of Latin soul and R&B that emerged from the clubs, street corners, transistor radios and pool halls of 1960s El Barrio, or Spanish Harlem. Spanglish Fly plays irresistible grooves that blend Afro-Caribbean rhythms with the fervor, feeling, and harmonics of 60s soul, paying tribute to the boogaloo genre while refreshing it for a new generation.

In a review of Ay Que Boogaloo, Spanglish Fly's new album, NPR applauds the group's "modern twist on boogaloo [that] explodes with creativity, slick arrangements and gorgeous double-lead-vocals by Mariella Gonzalez and Paloma Muñoz. There's so much happening, yet it's seamless in its complexity."

At each of the five Global Mashup events, audiences of all ages experience musical performances from two different regions, and then watch and listen as the music artists come together on stage for a distinctive third set. Before the start of each performance, audience members participate in dance lessons and are encouraged to jump onto the dance floor again during the performances!

The season's final show in the series of five is Texas meets Peru on June 15. All dance lessons begin at 7:00 PM, followed by concerts at 8:00 PM.

"It's amazing to behold how the traditional music of one region can blend seamlessly with the sounds of another region," said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. "Each year, we endeavor to make this a unique experience, one you won't see anywhere else, as artists from across the globe meet for the first time, and then present together."

Tickets to all shows are $16, and $10 for members and students. Discounts are available when purchasing tickets to multiple Global Mashup performances. You can access details by visiting http://www.flushingtownhall.org/globalmashup or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers - for FREE. Under the new "Teen Access Program", all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

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.

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