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The Garifuna Collective, Featuring Umalali, to Perform at Flushing Town Hall

The Garifuna Collective, Featuring Umalali, to Perform at Flushing Town HallFlushing Town Hall will present The Garifuna Collective and Umalali on Friday, October 6.

The Wall Street Journal calls their performances "a completely irresistible groove," with songs that celebrate the history and traditions of the Garifuna people, a unique culture based on the Caribbean coast of Central America that blends elements of West African and Native Caribbean heritage.

The Garifuna Collective is a multi-generational ensemble featuring some of the most accomplished musicians of the Garifuna community. They aim to tell the stories of the women and daughters who, while working to support their families, sing traditional songs to pass some of their heritage down to future generations. Umalali, the Garifuna word for "voice," is a moving ensemble that captures the beauty and power of Garifuna female expression. The Garifuna Jazz Ensemble, led by Lucy Blanco, will open the show with joined by a cast of well-seasoned musicians. The Garifuna people are struggling to retain their unique language, music, and traditions in the face of globalization, and Garifuna artists are fighting to preserve their culture.

The show will be filled with traditional melodies and hints of African, Latin, and Caribbean music. Hailing from Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, the powerful melodies and call and response songs, mixed with notes of funk and rock music, will bring the audience on a journey into the entrancing history and culture of the Garifuna people.

To kick off the event, Garifuna Collective and Umalali will teach participants how to use native instruments including traditional Garifuna drums, maracas, turtle shells, and more. The Garifuna Jazz Ensemble, The Garifuna Collective and Umalali will perform their music, accompanied with dance and traditional costumes. The complex rhythms, colorful costumes, and energetic dances are irresistible and will leave the audience wanting more!

The event starts at 7 P.M. Tickets are $16/$10 for members and students. For more information, visit www.flushingtownhall.org. 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.

This engagement of The Garifuna Collective featuring Umalali is funded through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers - for FREE. Under the "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 with student I.D. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

Flushing Town Hall (FTH) 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.

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