In celebration of Black History Month in February, Flushing Town Hall will host the return of its Black History Trilogy, a three-part series featuring outstanding performers paying tribute to influential African American musicians, entertainers and musical traditions.
The trilogy will kick off with “Third Stone from the Sun – A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix” on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m., showcasing Jimi Hendrix’s most popular songs. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, Hendrix (1942-1970) is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.
Jimy Bleu, the longest-running and most authentic of tribute artists, will recreate the musical genius of Hendrix on Flushing Town Hall’s stage alongside Moby Medina on bass guitar and Ted Edwards on drums. When Bleu is not rocking out on stage, he gives lectures as a “Hendrix historian” on radio, TV and at colleges throughout the country about Hendrix’s wide-ranging impact on music, politics, fashion and art.
On Sunday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., the Black History Trilogy continues with a presentation of “The Black King of Vaudeville – Remembering Bert Williams in Song” featuring Tony-nominated actor Larry Marshall celebrating the life and music of Bert Williams. Marshall is best known for his starring roles in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Hair” and “Porgy & Bess.”
Williams (1874-1922) was one of the pre-eminent entertainers of the Vaudeville era and one of the most popular comedians of his time. Throughout his three decades-long career, in an age and industry rife with racism, he became the first Black American to pioneer leading roles, both on Broadway and in the 1914 film “Darktown Jubilee,” pushing back racial barriers and subverting the usual tropes.
The trilogy concludes with a soulful homage to Gospel featuring award-winning Broadway veteran Tina Fabrique on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in “The Power & The Glory – Music of the Black Church.”
Gospel, a form of spiritual music that remains a staple of African-American life today, is rooted in the solo and responsive church singing of the African-American South. Gospel originated from Black spirituals, slave songs, and white hymnody, and it emerged in tandem with ragtime, blues and jazz.
In her trilogy performance, Fabrique (star of “Ragtime,” “Bring in da’ Noise,” “Bring in da’ Funk,” “The Wiz,” “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and “Gospel at Colonus”) will bring the power and glory of Gospel to Flushing Town Hall in a rousing, soul-affirming performance.
In-person tickets for each trilogy performance are $15/$12 for members. Those unable to attend in-person can view the livestream for free at youtube.com/flushingtownhall/live, with donations encouraged.
For tickets and more information, visit FlushingTownHall.org or call 718-463-7700 ext. 222.
In adherence with the city’s COVID-19 policy for performance venues, Flushing Town Hall will require all visitors ages 5 and up, performers and staff to show proof of vaccination. Masks will be required at all times for everyone. For more details on Flushing Town Hall’s COVID-safety measures and vaccine requirements, visit flushingtownhall.org/covid-safety.
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot — located a short distance from the 7 train — at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.
For the venue’s full schedule of 2022 winter events, visit flushingtownhall.org/events.