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Flushing Town Hall Presents A Jazzy Virtual Program This Fall

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Flushing Town Hall Presents A Jazzy Virtual Program This Fall

This fall season, jazz is in the air with Flushing Town Hall's virtual music programming including the popular monthly Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong, and two concert series: Lioness: Women in Jazz, and New Music Horizons - Collaborative Artists in Concert-all of which are free for anyone to enjoy from the comfort of their home.

Although the historic venue's doors have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19, Flushing Town Hall continues to pursue its mission of bringing people together by providing global arts for a global community through its online series, FTH at Home!.

Monthly Jazz Jams

Flushing Town Hall has traditionally offered a robust array of strong jazz presentations, including frequent performances by renowned NEA jazz masters, such as the late Jimmy Heath, and has hosted a monthly Jazz Jam with the support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation for many years. The historic arts organization also spearheaded the creation of the Queens Jazz Trail Map, celebrating the borough's iconic sites and jazz legends.

Since spring 2020, the Louis Armstrong Legacy Virtual Jazz Jam has brought hundreds of musicians together online-from all across the world from New Zealand to Italy and Germany and reached over 11,300 people on Facebook, with more than 1,200 engagements online-numbers that surpassed the participation and capacity of the venue during previous in-person sessions.

Led by Astoria resident Carol Sudhalter, along with Flushing Town Hall's House Band musicians Joe Vincent Tranchina, Scott Neumann and Eric Lemon, the monthly event brings together amateur and professional musicians to join with a piece that is in keeping with each monthly theme.

Every second Wednesday of each month, up to a maximum of 15 new musicians who have not performed at a previous Jazz Jam, are invited to join. To be considered, musicians should email and identify a three- to four-minute tune they intend to share that is live or a pre-recorded audio or video (but not a professional, edited recording such as a CD or youtube video). Selection is on a first-come first-served basis. Members of the public are invited to watch the live stream on Facebook.

On November 11, the Jazz Jam will celebrate "Gratitude," and December 9, the last Jazz Jam of the calendar year, will be a "Holiday Party," where jammers can perform their favorite holiday song, and recall any memory around their tune. Participants also can show off their family's traditional holiday treats and drinks, and toast the season that day.

Signature Jazz Events

In October, Flushing Town Hall kicked off the three-concert-series Lioness: Women in Jazz, a collective of female jazz instrumentalists, composers and bandleaders, by presenting guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco from Queens. The series continues this fall with two more performances: on November 19 at 7:30 PM, Lauren Sevian's LSQ performs with Lauren Sevian (baritone saxophone), Helen Sung (piano), Christian McBride (bass) and E.J. Strickland (drums); and on December 13 at 2:30 PM, the Lioness Ensemble with Alexa Tarantino (alto saxophone), Jenny Hill (tenor saxophone, flute), Lauren Sevian (baritone saxophone), Amanda Monaco (guitar), Akiko Tsuruga (organ) and Sylvia Cuenca (drums) will conclude this series. Both pre-recorded concerts will be free to watch on Flushing Town Hall's YouTube channel and will be followed by a live Q&A with the musicians.

New Music Horizons - Collaborative Artists in Concert, led by founder and director Mark Wade, is dedicated to the support of new music in the fields of contemporary jazz and classical music in the NYC metro area. Having been presented at Flushing Town Hall prior to the pandemic, the collaborative artist concerts return on November 14 and December 20. Both pre-recorded concerts will be available to watch for free on Flushing Town Hall's YouTube channel.

Mark Wade has been voted one of the top bassists of 2016, 2018, and 2019 by the prestigious Downbeat Magazine Reader's Poll. He has played with notable jazz artists such as James Spaulding, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, Harry Whitaker, Pete McGuinness, Peter Eldridge, Don Byron, and Stacey Kent.

On November 14 at 7:00 PM, New Music Horizons Part I presents two dynamic jazz composers: classical composer David Shenton and jazz composer Mark Wade. NYC-based pianist, violinist, composer, and arranger David Shenton will present a set of his lyrically inventive compositions. Pianist/music director David Shenton has worked with renowned members of the music profession in all genres, including Vanessa Williams, Tony Bennett, Renée Fleming, Sherrill Milnes, Marilyn Maye, Liz Callaway, Sir André Previn, and Stephen Schwartz. The Mark Wade Trio will follow with their brand of group interplay and expressive improvisation that has brought them an international following.

On December 20 at 5:30 PM, New Music Horizons Part II presents another set of two dynamic jazz composers: Bruce Arnold and Mark Wade. Bruce Arnold will present a set of solo acoustic guitar featuring his style of lyrical melodies and raw dissonances. Bruce Arnold has developed an extensive reputation as a composer, educator and guitar virtuoso and has played with such diverse musicians as Stuart Hamm, Peter Erskine, Joe Pass, Joe Lovano, Lennie Pickett, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Mark Wade Trio will follow with their brand of group interplay and expressive improvisation that has brought them an international following.

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