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Queens Chronicle

Travel through music without leaving Qns.

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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:30 am

People love mash-ups. There’s the bi bim bop taco (Korea meets Mexico), the Beatles meet Bob Marley (“Let It Be” and “No Cry” mix), sculptures that are paintings and paintings that are sculptures.

The list goes on of mix-ups and mash-ups, and Flushing Town Hall has been getting in on the fun with its Cultural Crossroads series, featuring musicians from different countries coming together to jam.

The programming started in early April with two bands, one from India and one from Brazil. Velly Bahia featured Axe music from Bahia (one of Brazil’s 26 states), which prides itself on its African roots with energetic drumming, dancing and a homage to the deities.

The Orishas brought music from India with its traditional lush melodies and what Flushing Town Hall described as a strong spiritual connection.

Flushing Town Hall then moved on to bring audience members to Korea and Greece; Jamaica and Spain; Africa and Peru; and now wrapping up the travels is the fifth mash-up, when the Dominican Republic meets Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on May 31.

Merengue band Kompalsa will represent the Caribbean country, the Dominican Republic. It’s a large seven-person group playing music that makes you want to shake your booty.

And in the spirit of crossroads The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Dance Co. and The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble will perform their Garifuna-inspired beats. This culture is decended from the indigenous people of Carib, Arawak and West African people who still live in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble is a Brooklyn-based group. Their most popular songs use lots of flutes and drums and for the most part have a mellow beat. This will be paired with the energetic swaying and rhythmic dancing of the Chief Joseph Chatoyer Dance Co.

But the professional dancers won’t be the only ones grooving. There is an instructional part of the program when the talent teaches the audience how to move. Guests are subsequently able to practice what they learned and just have fun during the jam session at the end of the show.

“It really entices people to get up out of their seat,” said Flushing Town Hall spokeswoman Malika Granville.”It’s an open dialogue and geared to getting people moving.”

‘Cultural Crossroads # 5’

When: Friday, May 31, 8 p.m.

Where: Flushing Town Hall. 137-35 Northern Blvd.

Tickets: $15/$10 members and students

(718) 463-7700


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