Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce to host community winter concert

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Holiday lights illuminate Austin Street in Forest Hills for the holiday season. (Photo courtesy of The Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce)

The Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce and Queens Council on the Arts will host “Celebrate Winter,” a free community concert featuring a performance from Grammy-nominated Latin Jazz artist Wilson “Chembo” Corniel on Saturday, Dec. 11. 

The one-day event will begin at 5 p.m. at the Church in the Gardens, located at 50 Ascan Ave. 

The Forest Hills winter celebration started 10 years ago as a kickoff to the holiday season, encouraging community spirit. From its inception, “Celebrate Winter” has been an outdoor event with live music, dance performances, free snacks, giveaways and the chance to meet business owners and neighbors for an evening of fun under the stars in a tent. 

“The concert is a joyous celebration bringing people to Forest Hills and it is sure to spice up everyone’s holidays,” said Leslie Brown, president of Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce.

This year, the concert will be held indoors and is open to everyone. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Masks and proof of vaccination are required for admittance. 

Corniel, one of the best hard-hitting, versatile percussionists, teaches percussion to students at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and leads numerous clinics throughout the U.S., bringing awareness of the rich Afro-Caribbean tradition to others. He is leading his own Latin Jazz quintet, “Chembo & Grupo Chaworó.” 

“Corniel’s group wisely explores works from their musical peers, finding a balance between the past and present of New York Latin Jazz,” said Chip Boaz of Latin Jazz Corner. 

In addition to the winter concert to celebrate the season, the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce has also brought holiday lights to the community. With support from local businesses, the organization was able to install lights on Metropolitan Avenue, Austin Street and Continental Avenue, Brown said. 

“It is so important to have shining lights in Forest Hills to support our local businesses and to be a symbol of hope to all affected by the pandemic,” Brown said. “We are so excited that the holiday lights are up in Forest Hills! We hope everyone will support  the small businesses here and eat, shop and love Forest Hills.”