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Flushing Town Hall's Live, Virtual Jazz Jam Presents 'Our Roads to Change'

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Flushing Town Hall's Live, Virtual Jazz Jam Presents 'Our Roads to Change'

Flushing Town Hall's free, online series, FTH at Home! continues this summer. The Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong, the institution's beloved, monthly event led by Astoria resident Carol Sudhalter and the FTH house band, the, has brought thousands of artists together online since it first went virtual in April. Providing a platform for musicians and jazz lovers, the next jam is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8 at 7 PM. Its theme, "Our Roads to Change," acknowledges the current movement for racial justice and equality and the need to make change.

While the historic venue's doors are still closed due to COVID-19, online programming is bringing people from all over the world together to enjoy music as one-something that is profoundly embedded in Flushing Town Hall's mission of bringing global arts to global people.

Since the first jam in April, Flushing Town Hall's jazz jam has seen a steady increase in viewers and has become a haven for jazz lovers from around the world-from New York to California, and even across the Pacific from New Zealand, and from across the Atlantic from Italy and Germany. More than 2,100 viewers tuned in to Facebook live to enjoy the music in June alone, and overall, since the first jam in April, views on Facebook have exceeded 5,800, with more than 1,600 engagements online-numbers that surpassed the participation and capacity of the venue during previous in-person sessions.

Flushing Town Hall has traditionally offered a robust array of jazz presentations, including performances by renowned NEA jazz masters such as the late Jimmy Heath who was celebrated in a virtual tribute on June 19. The historic arts organization spearheaded the creation of the Queens Jazz Trail Map, celebrating the borough's iconic sites and jazz legends, and every month, Sudhalter, hosts the popular monthly jazz jam populated by dozens of area jazz artists.

The upcoming Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong, is open to a maximum 20 jammers - on a first-come first-served basis - from anywhere in the world to participate and contribute to the theme for July will be "Our Roads to change." Participating musicians will perform jazz tunes that acknowledge the major crises of this moment, and the need to make change. All members of the public are invited to watch the live stream but interested singers and instrumentalists must register to participate (only 20 will be selected).

Interested participants should email education@flushingtownhall.org and identify a three- to four-minute tune they intend to share that is in keeping with the theme. It can be live or pre-recorded (but not a professional, edited recording). Musicians who already played at the April, May or June jam should not apply again, as the venue is rotating in new participants.

Audiences can watch this session LIVE and for FREE by simply tuning in to Flushing Town Hall's Facebook page on Wednesday, July 8 at 7 PM EST. Flushing Town Hall continues to hold virtual jazz jams all the way until at least September-every second Wednesday of the month, with more jams on August 12 and September 9.

While all FTH at Home! programming is presented free of charge, those who are able and moved to do so are encouraged to donate to the Step Up for Flushing Town Hall campaign, which will provide vital funding to supplant the staggering loss of earned revenue.

"While it continues to be difficult, not to be able to greet artists and audiences in person, we are grateful that we can continue to virtually celebrate music with our local community and with jazz lovers across the world," said Executive & Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek, "If you have ever enjoyed a jazz performance at Flushing Town Hall or turned to jazz in times of joy or sadness, we ask you to please consider a tax-deductible gift today."


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