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JCAL's Thursday Night Jazz is Back! Here's the details

Despite COVID-19's effect on the live performance landscape, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) continues its devotion to delivering quality, accessible programs to Southeast Queens. On Thurs., Oct. 8, at 7pm, JCAL’s acclaimed 2nd Thursday Night Jazz series will return, live-streamed for free from the institution’s 99-seat black-box theater in Jamaica via JCAL’s Youtube. To view this event, RSVP on JCAL’s website.

The return of the acclaimed 2nd Thursday Night Jazz series marks the latest step forward in JCAL’s 2020-21 “community first” and “digital first” season. Bringing together jazz artists from up-and-coming and mid-career artists to Grammy-winning performers, the series is curated by Rio Sakairi, artistic director and director of programming for The Jazz Gallery in Manhattan.

Sakairi will also curate JCAL’s annual, multi-day Jazz Festival in May 2021, which will take place outside in Southeast Queens as well as live-streamed from JCAL.

2nd Thursday Night Jazz will run monthly from October 2020 to April 2021, live-streamed on JCAL's Youtube. The 2020-21 season features a diverse lineup of seven acts-- including some of the most exciting names in contemporary jazz.

"Jazz is America's classical music," noted JCAL Interim Artistic Director Courtney Ffrench. "All you need is an ear, to let the chords run all over you. We are more than joyful to continue this rich tradition where jazz is presented in our community."

“Yes, we wish the pandemic wasn’t keeping our performance spaces closed to the public,” added Interim Executive Director Leonard Jacobs. “But JCAL has invested in the technology and redoubled its commitment to segue 2nd Thursday Night Jazz to a live-streaming format -- making it accessible to our audience in Southeast Queens and to jazz aficionados worldwide.”

"I’m really happy and excited to bring once again a wide array of artists to the JCAL stage,” noted curator Rio Sakairi. “Jazz is a living and morphing entity that can bridge differences and foster understanding and collaboration between elements that are seemingly incompatible. I programmed the series so that everyone has something that you can relate to during the course of the season. I hope you’ll welcome them into your home virtually and experience something new. You don’t have to know anything about them. You’ll just have to open your ears and hearts and let them speak to you. It’s all about exploration and learning about yourselves through these artists and their offerings!”

Here is the 2nd Thursday Night Jazz season lineup:

October 8, 2020 Vanisha Gould Trio

November 12, 2020 Melissa Aldana Trio

December 10, 2020 Ritual Space: Jen Shyu, Immanuel Wilkins, Cory Smythe

January 14, 2021 Nir Felder Trio

February 11, 2021 Samora Pinderhughes

March 11, 2021 Amirtha Kidambi

April 8, 2021 Immanuel Wilkins Trio

May 2021 JCAL Jazz Festival (details TBD)

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