BY JAMES FARRELL
Flushing Town Hall will play host to a celebration of Queens’ jazz history this Friday night.
The Astoria Big Band, which is led by baritone saxophonist Carol Sudhalter, will perform hits by some of the biggest jazz maestros who have called Queens home, including Louis Armstrong, Big Nick Nicholas, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath and others.
The show, “Memories of Jazz in Queens,” will feature the 17-piece Astoria Big Band and was originally based on stories by the late bassist Leonard Gaskin, who played with Armstrong and Nicholas. Sudhalter will also be joined by two singers and the swing dance group Big Apple Lindy Hoppers.
“I am so excited to be presenting our material on some of the legendary Queens-based jazz names to an audience who remembers much of the history and knew some of the artists,” Sudhalter said, “especially at Flushing Town Hall, which has been and still is a hub of jazz in Queens.”
Sudhalter founded the Astoria Big Band in 1986 and has been its leader ever since. The band has played in many different venues, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and was the first to play at the Forest Park Carousel in Woodhaven.
Sudhalter plays the flute, baritone sax and tenor sax and has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Trumpets, Birdland, Iridium, JVC Jazz Festival, and in major clubs and festivals in the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland, including Villa Celimontana and JazzAscona.
The show will take place on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets to the event are $16 general admission and $10 for members and students. Visit www.flushingtownhall.org or call (718) 463-7700, ext. 222 for more information or to purchase tickets. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. in Flushing.
Flushing Town Hall is also allowing free entry to teens between the ages of 13 and 19 as part of its Teen Access Program.
Other upcoming events at Flushing Town Hall include “Fall for Kunqu,” a live performance that mixes poetry, music and story. Kunqu is a form of Chinese theatre. This particular performance, which was curated by the Kunqu Society, will showcase an entertaining selection of music, singing and dramatic pieces to celebrate the fall season.
Kunqu dates back to the mid-16th century, and is considered a theatrical performance that fuses singing, recitation, movement and martial arts. Kunqu scripts are celebrated for their refined, lyrical beauty, and Kunqu works such as Tang Xianzu’s The Peony Pavilion from 1598 and Hong Sheng’s The Palace of Eternal Youth are considered pivotal masterpieces of Chinese literature and poetry.
This event will take place on Nov. 18. Tickets cost $16 general admission and $10 for members and students.
Both events are open to all ages.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.