This Queens event is really out of this world.

Flushing Town Hall will facilitate Full Moon Drumming: Mexico, the latest session in an ongoing periodic program, on Friday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. All skills levels are welcome.

To kick off the fun, George Sáenz, the music director for the Queens-based Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, will lead a workshop on traditional Mexican percussive rhythms and drumming styles — especially huapango, son de tarima and polka.

The huehuetl, a tubular wooden instrument that dates back to the Aztec Empire, will be a main focus. These drums come in various sizes, make distinct sounds, and often display different carvings, usually of animals, on their bases. Musicians hold them upright and beat their stretched skin tops with mallets or their hands.

Sáenz — who plays the trombone, button accordion, bass, piano and guitar — will also teach about the ayotote, which usually accompanies the huehuetl. Often made from hollowed-out bamboo, these maraca-like instruments are filled with dried seeds and shaken to create sound. The bombo, which is a bass (or kick) drum that produces a low pitch, will also be part of the workshop. So will the redoblante, a snare drum that creates a sharp staccato sound, and the pander, a spinning drum.

Once attendees feel comfortable with the instruments, the entire group will jam together outside in the garden and under the light of the full Sturgeon Moon. (The landmarked venue also has an indoor concert hall and gallery space in case the weather is bad.)

Tickets cost $25.

Over the past two years, Flushing Town Hall, which is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd., has hosted full moon workshops involving Puerto Rican, Peruvian, West African and Irish percussion.

Editor’s note: The Sturgeon Moon will be completely full on Sunday, Aug. 26, two days after this event. Some Native American tribes coined the term “Sturgeon Moon” as they found this fresh water fish to be easiest to catch in the Great Lakes during this August phenomenon. Other tribes called it the “Full Green Corn Moon.”

Images: Flushing Town Hall


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