Marking one year since transitioning to online programming amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Flushing Town Hall’s popular monthly jazz jam continues to draw participants across the globe and close to home. The cultural gem will celebrate both National Jazz Appreciation Month and Poetry Month with its Virtual Jazz Jam: Celebrating the Legacy of Louis Armstrong on Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m.
Since April 2020, the jazz jams have been popular monthly features, reaching more than 7,000 viewers and exceeding 1,700 engagements online. The jams have become a haven for jazz lovers from around the world, with musicians joining from across the U.S. and from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Ireland, Trinidad and Japan.
Flushing Town Hall’s monthly jazz jam is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and has been led since 2016 by Astoria resident Carol Sudhalter. House band members include illustrious musicians such as Joe Vincent Tranchina, Scott Neumann and Eric Lemon, who pay tribute to the great Louis Armstrong, performing songs associated with the legendary trumpeter/vocalist every month. Every month, jazz musicians have come together to play tunes reflecting each month’s theme.
Sudhalter said the virtual music event has been a “wild and illuminating ride,” receiving reactions from 120-plus musicians and singers who have participated.
“Like me, most thought they could not handle, or did not care to delve into, the virtual aspects of music performance. We all missed our bands,” Sudhalter said. “But the pandemic forced us into new dimensions: arranging, using video, learning to use home recording tools, overdubbing, thinking in new combinations of sound and musical colors.”
Musicians interested in participating on April 14 should email email@example.com with the suggested three- to four-minute tune they intend to play. The performance can be live or a pre-recorded audio or video (but not a professional, edited recording such as a CD or YouTube video).
Musicians who performed in 2020 are now welcome to return. Each month, up to five returning musicians and up to 15 new musicians can participate. Selection is on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone is invited to listen and can simply tune in to Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook page or Zoom on Wednesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. (ET) to join the live event for free, without registration.