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(718) 658-7400

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

©2018 by Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL)

Downtown Jazz Festival

A flagship music festival for Downtown Jamaica, Queens – “home of jazz.” The Jamaica Downtown Jazz Festival aims to celebrate the rich jazz heritage rooted in Southeast Queens and promotes generations of talents who hail from diverse cultures residing in this community today. This weekend-long music marathon will pay tribute to a legendary performer each year and feature some of the most prominent names in jazz along with emerging musicians. These concerts will take place in venues along Jamaica Avenue.

Milford Graves Full Mantis

Friday, July 12, 2019, 5:00 PM
$10/General Admission
@ Jamaica Arts Center. 161-04 Jamaica Avenue

MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS is a portrait of renowned percussionist Milford Graves, exploring his kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity.

Jason Moran & Tyshawn Sorey 

Friday, July 12, 2019, 8:00 PM
$20/General Admission

@ Jamaica Arts Center, 161-04 Jamaica Avenue

In this dream collaboration, two of American music’s brightest and most adventurous modern minds, Tyshawn Sorey and Jason Moran, collaborate to pay tribute to Milford Graves and kick off the inaugural season for the Jamaica Downtown Jazz Festival.
>>Jazz Record Review

JAZZWALK guided tour

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 10:00 AM (Cancelled) Sunday ONLY!
$25/per person

Pick up and drop off @ Jamaica Arts Center, 161-04 Jamaica Avenue 

A guided walking tour will be available for participants to learn about all the great jazz history from the “home of jazz”. The 1.5 hour van tour will lay it all out for you—from the Great Migration out of the South after World War I and the spread of jazz from New Orleans; to how New York City emerged as the jazz capital of the country with the music genre’s national popularity exploding.

The Amazing Grace

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 12:00 PM
$10/General Admission
@ Jamaica Performing Arts Center 153-10 Jamaica Avenue

A  never seen before concert documentary film directed by Sydney Pollack and later realized by producer Alan Elliott, features Aretha Franklin recording her 1972 live album of the same name.

Keith Jordon 

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 1:00 PM
FREE
@ Queens Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd, Jamaica, NY

Born in Brooklyn, raised in Jamaica, Queens, jazz musician Keith Jordan writes, produces and perform music in the tri-state area. He also teaches music at Francis Lewis High School in Queens.

Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Trio

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 2:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center Gallery, 161-04 Jamaica Avenue

Acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as a "rising star"  singer with “soulful inflection and remarkable, Fitzgerald-esque scat prowess” and hailed by All About Jazz as a “first class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof of the place”, Camille Thurman has been amazing audiences throughout the world with her impeccable sound, remarkable vocal virtuosity and captivating artistry.

Napoleon Revels-Bey

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 3:00 PM

FREE

@ King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica, NY

Much sought after as a musician in the worlds of Broadway, Soul and Jazz, Napoleon Ravels-Bey has done percussion on the Broadway productions of Jelly's Last Jam, West Side Story, Bubblin' Brown Sugar, Dancin', Ain't Mis'Behavin, and Eubie. His world-class achievements have brought him to jazz festivals in Europe and Japan.

Secret Mall

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 3:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Performing Arts Center front lawn, 153-10 Jamaica Ave.

Secret Mall was formed in the summer of 2016 by four young New York based musicians looking to combine their musical upbringing in jazz with their similar senses of humor and fascination with internet culture. The strong camaraderie present in Secret Mall allows the music to flow into many different places, making each presentation the band gives completely different to any previous one, but always present is the humor and silliness that unite the group in the first place.

Giveton Gelin

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 3:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center theater, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

Giveton has received mentoring from some of the world's greatest jazz musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Eddie Henderson, Barry Harris, Jason Moran, Ralph Peterson, Roy Hargrove and much more.  Giveton continues to excel in his musical growth. He now attends the Oberlin Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship. 

Simona Premazzi

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 4:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center gallery, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

New York based pianist Simona Premazzi has developed an impressive body of work as a composer and bandleader. Originally from Italy, Premazzi hails from a small town in the outskirts of Milano, where she began playing piano at age 8. A gifted musician, Simona is a graduate of the conservatory of music in Udine. She followed up her studies in Milano, by enrolling in the International Academy of Music and CPM music school, studying under the incomparable supervision of two of Italy’s formidable jazz masters, Massimo Colombo and Franco D’Andrea.

York College Alumni Combo

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 2:30 PM
FREE
@ Queens Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd, Jamaica,

The York College Alumni Combo showcases graduates from the York College music program. The group performs styles ranging from jazz to Latin to pop and beyond. Under the direction of Dr. Tom Zlabinger, the combo performs regularly at events on campus and across the city.

Kendra Shank

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 5:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Performing Arts Center front lawn, 153-10 Jamaica Ave.

Hailed by The New York Times as a "superbly skilled vocalist" and an artist of "effervescence, depth," and "integrity" (Nate Chinen), she headlines at top venues across the U.S. and abroad, captivating audiences with her genuine warmth and musicality. Shank combines jazz originals, standards, world music, French songs, folk/pop tunes, and open improvisation in an adventurous, genre-bending style that inspired Gary Giddins to call her "one of New York's most original performers." (Jazz Times)

Morgan Guerin

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 4:00 PM
FREE
@ King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Ave.

Morgan Guerin is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, and engineer. He has performed with such notables as Terri Lyne Carrington, Ellis Marsalis, Tyshawn Sorey, Esperanza Spalding, Jimmy Cobb, Nicholas Payton, Christian Scott, Stefon Harris, Allen Toussaint, Freddy Cole, Russell Gunn, Amina Figarova, Wallace Roney, and Buster Williams. The Huffington Post named Morgan’s first album, “The Saga” one of the best Jazz albums of 2016.

Jonathan Finlayson

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 5:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center theater, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

Born in 1982 in Berkeley, CA, Finlayson began playing the trumpet at the age of ten in the Oakland public school system. Finlayson is a disciple of the saxophonist/composer/conceptualist Steve Coleman, having joined his band Five Elements in 2000 at the age of 18. He is widely admired for his ability to tackle cutting-edge musical concepts with aplomb. 

Milford Graves, Don Byron and Alchemy Sound Project

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 7:00 PM
$30
@ Jamaica Performing Arts Center front lawn, 153-10 Jamaica Ave.

Main stage concert features legendary Milford Graves, born and raised in Southeast Queens. Graves is an American jazz drummer and percussionist, most noteworthy for his early avant-garde contributions in the 1960s with Paul Bley and the New York Art Quartet alongside John Tchicai, Roswell Rudd, and Reggie Workman. He is considered to be a free jazz pioneer, liberating the percussion from its timekeeping role....

JazzWalk: a guided tour

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 10:00 AM
$25/per person
Pick up and drop off @ Jamaica Arts Center, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

A guided walking tour will be available for participants to learn about all the great jazz history from the “home of jazz”. The 1.5 hour van tour will lay it all out for you—from the Great Migration out of the South after World War I and the spread of jazz from New Orleans; to how New York City emerged as the jazz capital of the country with the music genre’s national popularity exploding.

Tomoko Omura

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 2:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center gallery, 153-10 Jamaica Ave.

Tomoko Omura is among today's leading voices in jazz violin. “Roots”, her debut album for Inner Circle Music, is a compelling tribute to her native Japan, featuring original arrangements of ten classic Japanese folk and popular songs. Downbeat magazine calls Tomoko “a leader with a fine future”, awarding “Roots” 4 and a half stars.

Chris Morrissey

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 3:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center theater, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

Chris Morrissey is a songwriter, a bassist, a singer. As a bassist, he has toured five continents with the Jim Campilongo Trio, Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, Beat Music, Dave King Trucking Company, Margaret Glaspy, Boy George, Ben Kweller, Andrew Bird, Dosh, Mason Jennings, Gretchen Parlato, Trixie Whitley, Rosanne Cash, Matisyahu, Gabriel Kahane, Amy Helm, Tony Scherr and with five-time Grammy nominee and multi-platinum selling artist Sara Bareilles, for whom he also acted as music director.

Jarawa Brian Gray

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 4:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center gallery, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

A native New Havener, Jarawa has more than 30 years of successful experience as a Percussionist, songwriter, band leader and performing artist. He performs Natural Centric Drumming and the music of the African Diaspora. Jarawa has been is a featured artist on recordings by jazz greats Oliver Lake, Pheeroan Aklaff, Yosuke Yamashita, and The Visions Band. Jarawa has also released his own CDs titled “Berdisha Pertasha,” “You’re So Special” and “Stories of Life.”

Flamenco Latino

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 5:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center theater, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

Flamenco Latino continues to explore its unique blend of flamenco rhythms with jazz improvisation and Latin flavors. This group features Basilio Georges on guitar/vocals, Aurora Reyes singing and hand-clapping, Mark Holen on percussion and Eden Bareket playing baritone saxophone. The program will include original music and diverse themes by Chic Corea, Paco de Lucia and Professor Longhair.

Roopa Mahadevan

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 6:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center gallery, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

Roopa Mahadevan is known for her powerful and emotive voice. At home in many eras and styles, Roopa Mahadevan is versatile among Carnatic (South Indian classical) performers, bringing the art form and her explorations in genre, text, and theater to audiences in the U.S. India, and South Asian diaspora.

Pheeroan akLaff

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 7:00 PM
FREE
@ Jamaica Arts Center theater, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.

American drum-set doyen and teaching artist Pheeroan akLaff reflects music centered in powerful ritual and imagination. He has performed at international festivals, and mulit-disciplined art venues for more than thirty years. He is an avid workshop leader and contributor to a milieu of mid-1970's Avant Garde pioneers. Numerous recordings display his work bolstering a wide range of music composers.

Film

Film

Tour

Tour

Main Stage

Opening
Night

EXHIBITIONS

Volumes: Milford Graves documents Milford's remarkable research into the rhythms of the human heart that so inform his music. This exhibition is organized by the Queens Museum and curated by Sophia Maria Lucas, was originally produced in conjunction with the Queens International 2018.

VOLUMES:
Milford Graves

Opening July 12, 2019 - August 24, 2019
@ Jamaica Arts Center

From January through May, 1961 four innovative and legendary drummers appeared at the jazz club Copa City, located at 108-20 Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens—Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Dannie Richmond and Roy Haynes. The exhibition 1961, Copa City, Four Drummers not only recalls these performances but also situates them in the ascendancy of African American culture of the 1960s, the struggle for Equal Rights in the United States and the contemporary decolonization of Africa

1961 COPA CITY, Four Drummers
Opening July 12, 2019 - August 24, 2019

The instrument for the festival is sponsored by