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Flushing Town Hall and it's house-band hold its second virtual jazz jam through Zoom video-conferencing in mid-May. The jam attracted performers from around the world including the American West and Europe.

BY BENJAMIN MANDILE

Flushing Town Hall has been holding “virtual” jazz jams through video-conferencing for jazz fans and players to congregate while following social distancing measures.

Despite the social distancing measures, Carol Sudhalter, the director of the FTH house band, and her colleagues have been connecting with jazz performers worldwide to bring jazz into people’s living rooms. 

Sudhalter said the first jam in mid-April was “fabulous” and that the second jam, which was held mid-May, was more organized and had more people attend. 

A source familiar with the jam said that while the first installment attracted about 600 viewers, the sound production wasn’t great, so for the second jam held in mid-May they would be pre-recording all the compositions for easier playback. 

The first performance taught the group what they needed to fix for future performances. 

Being able to bring performers in from around the country and around the world is one advantage of the online showcase, Sudhalter said in a previous interview with QNS. 

“That’s the one advantage that we cannot do at the live jam,” said Sudhalter. 

If the jams were in-person only people from the area would be able to participate, she said. 

The second jam featured performances from people around the New York area but also as far as Europe and New Zealand. 

The group finds its viewers through social media including Facebook, where the first and second performances can currently be viewed. 

The second jam focused on Louis Armstrong’s legacy and featured music of his. The Flushing Town Hall house band is funded by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc.

The next jazz jam is currently scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m. Viewers can attend through Zoom

Performers hoping to share their music can reach out to education@flushingtownhall.org and mention the name of a three- to four-minute piece to share. 

Up to 20 performers can play their music during a performance and the group asks that if a performer played at the April or May jams to not apply for this jam because it is working on a rotating basis.

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