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JCAL 50th Anniversary Announcement



JCAL Announces Year-Long Residency of Legendary Artist / Performer Danny Simmons




JCAL proudly commemorates the start of its 50th anniversary season with a residency by acclaimed painter, author and poet Danny Simmons. Entitled “Homecoming” and presented in association with KMW Studio, Simmons’ residency will span eight months and include a Jazz and Spoken Word performance with legendary musician and recording artist Ron Carter, a major retrospective of Simmons’ work, artist talks and more. In Spring 2022, Simmons’ residency will culminate in a reunion performance of the original cast of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and a 50th Anniversary Gala for JCAL with Simmons as the artist honoree.


“Homecoming” will officially kick off JCAL’s 50th anniversary year with a performance at 8pm on Sat., Oct. 2 at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center pairing Simmons with legendary two-time Grammy-winning bassist Ron Carter, whose appearances on 2,221 recording sessions make him the most-recorded jazz bassist in history. Also joining Simmons and Carter will be Carter’s Golden Striker Trio, Jazz Singer and host Lezlie Harrison and spoken-word artists ursula rucker, Derick Cross and Bonafide Rojas. Tickets are set at $20 and may be purchased in advance below.





About Danny Simmons


Danny Simmons is a published author, poet, painter and philanthropist. He is a leader in the art world with his philanthropic ventures, artistic talents and creative mind and drive. He played an instrumental role in the conceiving of and co-producing the hit HBO show Def Poetry Jam, and won a Tony Award for the Broadway version of the show. Simmons is co-founder, along with his siblings Russell Simmons and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and founder of Rush Arts Philadelphia and RAP Gallery II, a new solo exhibition/arts education gallery that opened in 2019.


He is a former board member of the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Conference of Artists and former Chairman for the NYS Council on the Arts. Today, his works appear in Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Museum, Chase Manhattan Bank, Deutsche Bank, Schomburg Center for Black Culture, The Smithsonian, United Nations, US State Department Collection, David Driskell Collection, Petrucci Family Foundation, PAFA Collection, and, on an international scope, has shown work in France, Amsterdam and Ghana.


In 2019, he was appointed to Philadelphia Museum of Art’s African American Collections Committee. Simmons holds a Bachelor’s degree in social work from New York University, a Masters in public finance from Long Island University, and is the recipient of an honorary PhD from Long Island University. He continues to thrive at his ‘home gallery’ in Philadelphia, PA.


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Vitals Health & Wellness Music Festival

August 21st, 2021 11am - 5pm

Jamaica Performing Arts Center Lawn


Join us at VITALS, a free outdoor health and wellness festival highlighting organizations and entrepreneurs advancing health equity amongst communities of color. Featuring musicians from The Dream Unfinished and the Harlem Chamber Players.



Southeast Queens Jam Fest

September 12th, 2021 3pm

Jamaica Performing Arts Center Outdoor Stage


We are thrilled to present the second annual Southeast Queens Jam Fest! This event will bring 3 exciting, community based performers to the outdoor stage of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center on September 12th, 3pm. RSVP today to check out our exciting lineup of musicians.



Making Moves Dance Festival

September 17th & 18th 7pm

Jamaica Performing Arts Center Outdoor Stage


Making Moves Dance Festival 2021 ~ To Life is a free two-day event set to take place on the outdoor stage of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (153-10 Jamaica Avenue) on Fri., Sept. 17 and Sat., Sept. 18, starting at 7pm on both days. RSVP HERE

This year, JCAL offers what is, by far, its most diverse lineup ever, with styles that include Ballet, Afro-Latin, East Asian, Middle Eastern, Afro-Caribbean, East Indian and more.



RSVP to District 24 by Indranil Choudhury 15-minute 2-channel video installation @ JPAC lower-level lobby August 16th & August 17th


RSVP today for a free viewing of the video installation District 24, on view now at Jamaica Performing Arts Center! The title of the installation, District 24 refers to the New York City Council district that Jamaica falls under. The film documents Moumita Ahmed’s campaign for City Council in the 2021 elections. Over the course of an eventful 48 hours behind the scenes, the film attempts to capture the opportunities and challenges of getting a true grassroots campaign off the ground.


Indranil Choudhury is a media artist from India. He is a graduate student at Hunter College's Integrated Media Arts program and teaches in the school's Department of Film & Media Studies.

This project is part of Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows 2021.



This month's Jamaica Mic Drop Performer: J La Sol

August 27th, 5pm

Parsons Public Space

The next performer at Jamaica Mic Drop is Queens based poet and emcee J La Sol. Generally known as a quiet child, Sol found his voice through the power of poetry, which ultimately evolved into the art of music. Since then, he has used his talents to inspire and share his story with people all across NY and different parts of the country. Sol believes his voice is meant for more than just stages and he prove that by performing in subways, museums, schools, and much more.

With sponsorships from the Jamaica Center BID, MetroPlus and Con Edison, the event will take place in the Parsons Public Space—the full block between Archer and Jamaica Avenue on Parsons Boulevard.