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A Month-Long Celebration of the African American and Afro-Caribbean Experience

Jazz with Keith Jordan

Friday, February 1, 2019, 7:30 - 9:00 PM

Born in Brooklyn, raised in Jamaica, Queens, jazz musician Keith Jordan writes, produces and performs music in the tri-state area. He also teaches music at Francis Lewis High School in Queens. “I used to go to Queens College and get hip to Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven along with learning sight singing, theory, and composition classes by day and go hang out at “The Village Door” where they were playing Jazz music at night." He was fortunate to hear some of the great musicians of Jamaica, Queens  that included, Bernard Wright, Omar Hakim, and Don Blackmon to name a few. More importantly he got to play with them when he worked up his nerve!

Location: Jamaica Art Center (JAC) 161-04 Jamaica Avenue


Kassoumaii an African Cultural Celebration Kevin McEwen and Kofago Dance Ensemble

Saturday, February 9, 2019

10:00 AM Afrobeat kids class (7 and up)
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm Traditional West African Dance class (teen and up)
6:00 - 6:45 Kofago Dance Ensemble showcase and talk back with Kevin McEwen. West African dance and culture (Senegal and Mali)
7:00 - 8:00 pm Documentary: Walk all Night: A drum beat journey. Closing celebration documentary film with cast member Kevin McEwen and guests. 


Kassoumaii: an African cultural celebration bringing people together through dance, rhythm and film. West African Dance, Rhythm and Film documentary.


In partnership with Kevin McEwen and Kofago Dance Ensemble (JCAL’s new resident dance company), JCAL is excited to present Kassoumaii. Kevin McEwen will teach various West African Dance workshops for kids and adults (focus on Senegal and Mali), wrapping up the day with a showcase by the Kofago Dance Ensemble followed by a documentary screening Walk all Night: A drum beat journey.  

Location: Jamaica Arts Center, 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY


Prismatic Magic’s Black History Laser Tribute

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 @10:30 am Sold Out

Show Added 12:00 pm - All welcome

Founded in 2002, laser scientists and teachers have pooled their talents to develop revolutionary visual learning presentations by combining science, technology, art, and music. Their selection of school programs explores a wide range of topics – from science to character enrichment to history to culture – in an exciting and refreshing way.


Celebrate the profound contributions through Black History, part history lesson and part uplifting musical revival, Prismatic Magic’s Black History Laser Tribute is unforgettable experience for people of all ages!

Location: Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY


Emmett Wigglesworth “Jazz...Rhythm & Blues...Gospel make you see….with written notes from a trip around a world”

Friday, February 15 - April 30, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: March 8, 2019, 7 - 9 PM

Resident of Jamaica Queens for more than 20 years, Emmett Wigglesworth is a muralist, painter, sculptor, fabric designer and poet who has been creating for over six decades. n 1959 Wigglesworth began his participation in the Civil Rights movement and in the early 1960's he worked with the CORE Freedom School in Selma, AL teaching art. During that same period he wrote and directed two plays for the CORE Freedom Theater in San Francisco, CA. In 1968 he designed the interior and exterior of the Bedford Stuyvesant Theater in Brooklyn as well costumes and stage sets for the Black Spectrum Theater in Queens, NY. Wigglesworth has exhibited in Ghana, and throughout the U.S.

JCAL invites you to experience a world of music through Emmett Wigglesworth’s lens in this jazz and blue series. Experience how music helps shape his journey through the Civil Right Movement, Marine Corp., hitchhiking through America, and while traveling throughout Europe and Caribbean.

Location: Jamaica Arts Center, 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY


Black Angels Over Tuskegee

Saturday, February 16, 2019 @ 2pm

Uplifting! Inspirational! By the end, when the pilots overcome their obstacles and finally got up into the air to the swelling of music, tears welled up in my eyes.” - New York Times

Black Angels Over Tuskegee chronicles the stories of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American fighter pilots in U.S. military history, who broke racial barriers during World War II. The play uplifts and inspires audiences as the narrative documents the lives of aviator candidates seeking to overcome a collective struggle; debunking the ability, intelligence, and patriotism myths and ultimate dreams of an inclusive society.

Location: Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY

General Admission/$10; Child/5

Queens Oral History: Building of Jamaica with the “Original Generals of the Industry”

Saturday, February 16, 2019 @6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The “Original Generals of the Industry” - following WWII starting in 1946, seven brothers from Augusta, Georgia, “The Griffins” moved to New York and started an industrial landscaping company -  L.B. Griffin Landscaping - in Jamaica, Queens. In its first 20 years L.B. Griffin landscaping expanded into contracting and became the first and largest black owned construction company in New York, L.B. Griffin Construction, Inc. after 50 years until today L.B. Griffin Contracting, Inc. has added several branches of Griffin Contracting. The Griffin family of contracting have been present in the development and construction of Jamaica, Long Island + Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and along the Northeast Corridor. There are two surviving Griffin brothers, the “Original Generals of the Industry,” Charles Thomas Griffin and Roy Oscar Griffin; this is their story.

All are invited to attend this community gathering and Oral History project regarding the African Americans who were at the forefront of developing the community of Southeast Queens. It is a time to meet with the remaining members of the African American construction team.  Celebrate the Oral History and meet the Builders of Southeast Queens. Minority Entrepreneurs “Tell It Like It Was”...slide show, film trailer, storytelling and meet “the Original Generals of the Industry.”

Location: Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY


Omar Edwards, It’s a Jam! The History of Tap Dance America

Thursday, February 21st, 7 pm - 9:00 pm

Spend the evening with legendary tap artist and rhythm master Omar Edwards as he gives us a live musical tap experience of Tap Dance America a Black History Month celebration. He will be joined by musicians and special guests. You’re invited to Participate! - learn new steps & old and bring your own specialty too. Come to Jam. Bring your instrument - shoes, voice, music...this is a percussive thing, so Bring It! Let’s Make Some Noise!

Location: Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY

General Admission: $15 (kids and seniors $10) Free - If you’re gonna Jam!

Fanike African Dance Troupe Dancing! Drumming! Celebrating Culture & History

Saturday, February 23, 2019, @7:30PM

Directed by Patricia Ghizamboule Robinson, the Fanike African Dance Troupe will perform with their signature libation, drumming and dance performance honoring the ancestors of the African Diaspora.  
Ticket information (917) 704-0051.

Location: Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY

Ticket information (917) 704-0051

ORAL HISTORY/FILM: Double Victory & Freedom Flyers of Tuskegee/Speaker

Saturday, February 23, 2019 @3 pm - 5 pm

In this inspiring account of the Tuskegee Airmen--the country's first African American military pilots--historian J. Todd Moye captures the challenges and triumphs of these brave aviators in their own words, drawing on more than 800 interviews recorded for the National Park Service's Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project.

Denied the right to fully participate in the U.S. war effort alongside whites at the beginning of World War II, African Americans--spurred on by civil rights organizations such as the NAACP--compelled the prestigious Army Air Corps to open its training programs to black pilots, despite the objections of its top generals. Thousands of young men came from every part of the country to Tuskegee, Alabama, in the heart of the segregated South, to enter the program, which expanded in 1943 to train multi-engine bomber pilots in addition to fighter pilots. By the end of the war, Tuskegee Airfield had become a small city populated by black mechanics, parachute packers, doctors, and nurses.

Freedom Flyers brings to life the legacy of a determined, visionary cadre of African American airmen who proved their capabilities and patriotism beyond question, transformed the armed forces--formerly the nation's most racially polarized institution--and jump-started the modern struggle for racial equality.

Location: Jamaica Arts Center, 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY


Poet/Author Sherese Francis Hosts Kinetic: A Literary Jam Series

Thursday, February 28, 2019 @7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kinetic, a new literary series, "words in motion."  “All in” with spoken word and sound poetry, film, writing workshops and a traveling library. Collaborations with musicians and dancers and J. Expressions mobile library of authors and writers in Southeast Queens. Authors will be present to sign books.  

Location: Jamaica Arts Center, 161-04 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, NY

$5 Suggested Donation

Standing Ovation: African Diva Project

February 1 - March 25, 2019

The outdoor art installation Standing Ovation: African Diva Project in Queens celebrates some of the biggest black female singers in entertainment.

Standing Ovation is part of Margaret’s larger ongoing series, The African Diva Project, created to reconnect Black art, music, and performance to its African roots. Standing Ovation is comprised of select figures taken from The African Diva Project, printed to life-size, and installed on the Jamaica Performing Arts Center lawn.


“This installation represents a selection of popular African American women soloists whose songs and celebrity have touched many lives. The black women behind these masks are entertainers given high spiritual and ritual significance. As African Divas, they become powerful representatives of changing times shouldered with the support and grace of ancestral Africa.” –Margaret Rose Vendryes

Location: Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica, NY


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(718) 658-7400


161-04 Jamaica Ave,
Jamaica, NY 11432, USA


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