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Flushing Town Hall to continue popular mini global mashups series in 2022

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(L to R): Alessandra Belloni, Alioune Faye, Sita Chay, Ara Dinkjian, Falu and Sami Abu Shumays (Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

Flushing Town Hall will continue its Common Ground: Mini-Global Mashups series in 2022 with a brand-new program of solo musicians of different practices and cultural identities performing together in unique pairings. 

Acclaimed trumpeter and composer Frank London of The Klezmatics, who has performed in Flushing Town Hall’s original, large-scale global mashups series, will also return in his role as the curator for the 2022 season of mini-mashups. 

“These concerts will be a real joy to hear, watch and experience, and they were so exciting for me to program,” London said. “Some of the concerts pair artists whose musical styles are closely related, or ‘first cousins,’ so to speak. Others match artists whose traditions are totally unrelated. This is intentional. Through deep listening, curiosity and creativity, our mashup artists will make new music together.’”

Ellen Kodadek, executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, said they look forward to continuing their celebration of global music in the new year, and are thrilled to continue welcoming artists and audiences back to their hall for the popular series. 

“It will be fascinating to experience these phenomenal artists create, or discover, common ground in their wide-ranging musical styles,” Kodadek said.  

Flushing Town Hall will continue adhering to the city’s vaccine mandate for performance venues, while also live streaming for audiences who still need, or prefer, to stay home.

The 2022 Common Ground: Mini-Global Mashups series kicks off in January with Southern Italy Meets Senegal on Sunday, Jan. 9, at 1 p.m., featuring Alessandra Belloni and Alioune Faye. This concert is also accompanied by London on trumpet.

Belloni is a singer, percussionist, dancer and actress. She specializes in traditional southern Italian folk dances and percussion combined with vocals. Belloni was born in Rome, Italy, and is committed to preserving the strong and rich traditions of her culture. 

Belloni is the founder, artistic director and lead performer of I Giullari Di Piazza, an Italian ensemble in residence at New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and designer of a line of tambourines belonging to a signature series made by Remo. 

She has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub and Madison Square Garden, as well as at drumming and world music festivals across the globe. Belloni’s voice has been described by The New York Times as “exultant.” The Los Angeles Times says Belloni is “a virtuoso” with “an enormously powerful presence.”

Faye hails from a long line of Senegalese drummers and griots (wandering musicians, poets, singers and historians). He has worked with such greats as Youssou N’dour, Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel, as well as with Senegal’s premier sabar ensemble, Sing Sing Rhythm. He plays sabar, tama and djembe. Currently based in New York, Faye is the leader of the group Yakar Rhythms.

The series will continue throughout the winter, with a new mini-global mashup each month.

The Sunday, Feb. 13, concert, Korea Meets Armenia, will feature violinist and composer Sita Chay and folk singer Ara Dinkjian. The Sunday, March 13, concert, India Meets Egypt, will feature Grammy-nominated singer Falu with violinist, vocalist and rababa player Sami Abu Shumays, and harmonium accompanist Gaurav Shah.

Each month’s mini-global mashup performance will be followed by a Q&A conversation between the artists and audience hosted by Frank London or other special guest moderators.

For the series’ full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit flushingtownhall.org/mini-global-mashups.

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