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Zikrayat
Zikrayat

Flushing Town Hall has found the perfect recipe for success for cooking in a melting pot. Called “Global Mashups,” the formula begins with mixing two bands from different genres on the same stage. Add dance lessons. Sprinkle in a jam session and let them cook in their own juices. Repeat five times a year.

Global Mashup 2: Egypt meets Haiti” will be on the menu at the landmarked performing arts venue on Friday, May 4, starting at 8 p.m.

First, the oven will be preheated during dance lessons at 7 p.m. Then, Zikrayat will play pan-Arab music ranging from belly-dance numbers to improvisations. The Agoci Band will follow with its form of Haitian compass with hip-hop, roots and calypso flavors. After these two performances, the bands will join on the stage and sizzle together.

Founded by violinist, vocalist and composer Sami Abu Shumays, Zikrayat (above) performs traditional and modern Arab music and dance from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and the greater Arab world with a keen interest in songs from the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema in the 1930s to 1960s. The group, whose name means “memories” in Arabic, likes to alternate vocal and instrumental numbers with solo and group dance songs.

On May 4, Yowalka, an expert in the Raqs Sharqi belly dance style who is also known as “Yogi,” will get into this mix.

During its set, Agoci Band will offer Haitian Compas. Sung in English, French and Creole, this infectious, dance-friendly genre fuses rhythms, melodies and rituals from the Yoruba and Dahomey ethnic groups in Africa’s West Coast with European instrumentation and Dominican influences. Led by Rol’hans Innocent, the group had an international hit with the single “Rozo” in 2014.

Tickets are $16.

This party is actually the second event in Flushing Town Hall’s five-part Global Mashup. On April 20, the group Spanglish Fly and its Latin Boogaloo launched the series along with Chop and Quench, which specializes in Afrobeat, a hybrid genre of West African sounds, funk and jazz that Nigerian showman Fela Kuti made famous in the 1970s and 1980s.

The fun will continue with Global Mashup 3: Mexico meets Guinea on Friday, May 18. Banda de los Muertos will offer boisterous Mexican contemporary Banda music, while Mandingo Ambassadors will do Guinean tunes led by guitarist Mamady “Djelike” Kouyaté.

Raya Brass Band will do intense, soul-shaking Eastern European wedding melodies, and Spanglish Fly will return with its irresistible Latin Boogaloo grooves for Global Mashup 4: Balkans meets El Barrio on Friday, June 1.

In the final one, Global Mashup 5: Texas meets Peru, Brian Clayton and The Green River Band will do a little bit of country, while the Corina Bartra Afro Peruvian Band will provide infectious Afro-Peruvian music on Friday, June 15.

All Global Mashups begin with dance lessons at 7 p.m., followed by concerts at 8 p.m.. They all cost $16, although Flushing Town Hall offers free admission to teenagers.

Photos from Sami Abu Shumays and Agoci Band

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