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Flushing Town Hall welcomes back larger audiences for fall season lineup of performances

Flushing Town Hall's fall performers (from l. to r.) Dayramir González, Emeline Michel, Eva Salina & Peter Stan. (Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

Flushing Town Hall is introducing a new lineup of fall programs in September, along with plans to expand its soft reopening as the venue continues to welcome back artists and the public to in-person events. 

After completely selling out its in-person performances this spring and summer for smaller audiences at a 25 percent capacity, the institution is eager to meet demand and serve larger crowds again, said Flushing Town Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. 

“We will not let our excitement get ahead of our safety protocols, however, which is why we are increasing to a 50 percent of capacity and not yet packing the house. We continue to proceed with great care and love for the artists, staff, audiences and donors who sustained us through the pandemic shutdown, and we have planned a very special season for everyone’s enjoyment!” Kodadek said. 

Flushing Town Hall’s popular Louis Armstrong Legacy Monthly Jazz Jam will once again be held in-person at the venue starting Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m.

Flushing Town Hall House Jazz Band. (Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

Since its inception in March 2020, more than 200 musicians from over a dozen countries as far as New Zealand, Italy and South Africa have participated in the virtual event. More than 7,000 viewers from across the globe have enjoyed the music and tuned in to the monthly jams to listen as the venue moved its programming online. 

Gabrielle Hamilton, director of education and public programs, said they’re “utterly thrilled” to see everyone return for a live, in-person jam. 

“Over the last 17 months as musicians joined us online, we heard some amazing jazz from across the globe, including six of the seven continents, but now it is time to jam again in person! It is sure to be a healing and celebratory reunion.” 

House Band Leader Carol Suhalter thanked everyone who went on the virtual, musical journey with them this past year and a half. 

“The pandemic keeps testing the resolve of the arts community, but we have proven ourselves resilient and inventive,” Sudhalter said. 

The monthly Jazz Jams will be performed live from Flushing Town Hall, just like in pre-pandemic times, with participating musicians and an audience of jazz lovers attending in person. For those who are unable to attend, virtual audiences from across the globe can still join the livestream and tune in for free via Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook page. 

For September, Flushing Town Hall has planned a calendar of events from mini-mash up series to jazz concerts and its first-ever art exhibition. 

Audiences can enjoy the “Common Ground” series, which is a fresh take on its beloved Global Mashups from prior years but now in “mini-mashup” form, featuring a new mashup each month. 

On Sunday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m. the venue will host “Common Ground: Mini-Global Mashup #1 – Haiti Meets Middle East.”

The event features artists seemingly different in discipline, practice or cultural identity who explore global connections, celebrating distinctions that make cultures unique. 

The new series are curated by acclaimed trumpeter and composer Frank London bringing together two global music artists along with accompanists for an afternoon of music, conversation and exploration. Following the show, there will be an Q&A session. 

Emeline Michel, a singer who is called the “The Joni Mitchell of Haiti,” is internationally acclaimed for merging native Haitian compas and rara music with jazz, pop, bossa nova and samba into deeply moving, joyful music. Bandleader and solo artist Dan Nadel’s style combines flamenco, jazz and Middle Eastern influences. He also collaborates with Gypsy/Neo-Balkan, Macedonian band Tavche Gravche. 

(Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

On Thursday, Sept. 30, at 5:30 p.m. join Flushing Town Hall’s deputy director, Sami Abu Shumays, as he talks about what makes a compelling grant application during a live professional development session. 

The venue is inviting artists creating in all disciplines to take part in the new series, Artist Professional Development Conversations, that will share tips, insights and best practices for navigating the business side of an artistic career. 

Each virtual session will feature a conversation with FTH staff members to discuss how to better support, present and market an artistic practice. During this workshop, attendees will edit real artist application materials live during the session to help them write a better arts application and see what a panelist looks for when answering these questions. The conversation will be followed by a Q&A session. 

Additional concerts this fall will include another performance in The Lioness Women in Jazz series that features baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian, followed by concerts with Dayramir González & Habana enTRANCé Cuban Jazz, then Yui Kitamura & The Mark Wade Trio, and the in-person return of Flushing Town Hall’s monthly Louis Armstrong Legacy Jazz Jam.

Also, Flushing Town Hall will present the very first art exhibition, Communicating Beyond Words,” inside its gallery since the pandemic first closed its facility in March of 2020, and its first dance presentation since the Hall reopened, Julia del Palacio: Son Jarocho Dance.

In adherence with the city’s COVID policy for performance venues, Flushing Town Hall will require all visitors, performers and staff to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with matching identification. 

Additionally, masks will be required at all times. For more details on Flushing Town Hall’s COVID-safety measures and vaccine requirements, visit flushingtownhall.org/covid-safety.

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