music

It is now week three of Spring and that means only one thing: more activities! I’m truly excited to present a few local events that not only am I personally looking forward to, but I’m hoping you all can enjoy these too. Get your pen and paper ready!!

April 12th @ 7:30PM {Museum of Moving Image}: “Babylon.” The MOMI is bringing this 1980’s Cannes Film Festival hit to the big screen. Babylon was never formally released in the U.S. because of its controversial nature. For more information and for tickets to the film CLICK HERE.

April 13th @ 4PM {MOMA PS1}: The Cases Behind the Prints with Alec Karakatsanis of Civil Rights Corps. Alec Karakatsanis expands on the cases of the individuals featured in the “Redaction” exhibition prints. If you haven’t visited the latest exhibit at MOMA PS1, this is the perfect opportunity to get an in-depth analysis by an industry professional. CLICK HERE in order to register for this free event.

(UPDATE!!!! This event has moved to BK Bazaar and tickets are being honored). April 13th @ 10PM {The Knock Down Center}: Foals Official After Party (DJ SET).

April 14th {Museum of Moving Image}: As part of The Havana Film Festival, MOMI brings us two films. “Inocencia” (a film about Cuban medical students who are wrongfully convicted, and have to prove their innocence) will be showing at 2 P.M., and “Los Silencios“(a film about a mother who finds refuge on a secluded Brazilian island, while running from Colombia’s political conflict) comes on at 4:30 P.M. You won’t want to miss these films as they bring The Havana Film Festival to a close.

April 14th @ 3PM {MOMA PS1}: Klein. Don’t miss this sound-based performance that ranges from mythology to the sounds of Pavarotti. “Klein uses collagist techniques to assemble recordings of her own vocals and instrumentation.” For tickets to this presentation CLICK HERE.

April 14th @ 7PM {The Knock Down Center}: Sunday Service by Ray Ferreira. I have heard amazing things about the KDC’s Sunday Service, and I am so excited to be attending this months edition. Sunday Service “brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure.” Taking place the first Sunday of every month, the event is coordinated by a guest curator who is invited to pretty much blow our minds away with different manifestations of art. You won’t want to miss it. Simple RSVP HERE in order to attend this free event.

April 15th @ 4PM {MOMA PS1}: Poetry Reading with Nicole Sealey and John Murrillo. “In conjunction with the exhibition Redaction: A Project by Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, New York-based poets Nicole Sealey and John Murrillo present a reading of their poetry followed by a Q&A with the audience about the exhibition, its themes, and their respective practices.” If you haven’t paid PS1 a visit, this is the perfect opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at Kaphar and Bett’s “Redaction” exhibit. Entrance to this reading is free with museum admission.

(NEW) April 16th @ 7PM {Museum of Moving Image}: Free Preview Screening of HULU original series: RAMY. The MOMI just announced this incredible opportunity to catch the first three episodes of RAMY, a new HULU original series set to air April 19th. “In his new Hulu original series, Egyptian-American comedian and actor Ramy Youssef stars as Ramy Hassan, a first generation Egyptian-American who is on a spiritual journey in his politically divided New Jersey neighborhood.” To RSVP and for more information simply CLICK HERE. Also, CLICK HERE for the series trailer.

April 19th @ 8PM {The Knock Down Center}: Trap Karaoke. If you’re a pro at Karaoke and also have a few bars to spit, this is your event. You are so very welcome! Trap Karaoke “is about personal empowerment, cultural participation, cherished moments, community, and creating a safe space for human connection.” There are slots still open, so if you’re interested in participating GO FOR IT! For tickets to this event CLICK HERE.

April 20th @ 11AM {Queens County Farm Museum}: Barnyard Egg Hunt. As a kid I loved to egg hunt on Easter. It was particularly due to the AMAZING choice of candy I would find in the eggs (My family always had the good stuff. No peeps or jelly beans here!). Also, the Queens County Farm Museum has a petting zoo and pony rides on site at an extra cost. However, everything is CASH ONLY, so make sure you take a trip to the bank before heading over as there are no ATM’s on site. For tickets to this event CLICK HERE.

April 20th @ 5PM {Flushing Meadows Corona Park}: Queens International Night Market. It’s BACK!! Well, temporarily at least. The Queens International Night Market is back on April 20th and 27th for a sneak peak of what’s to come this season. Tickets are on sale HERE for this limited time event. No worries if you can’t make it to these preview nights. The night market is officially back for the season on May 4th, and will resume free of charge for everyone to enjoy. CATCH ME @ THE 4/20 PREVIEW NIGHT!

April 20th @ 10PM {The Knock Down Center}: Nina Kravis & James Murphy. “Knockdown Center welcomes back techno-queen Nina Kraviz and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy for a supercharged night of techno and dance music with support from Justin Cudmore.”For tickets to this event CLICK HERE.

April 21st @ 3PM {MOMA PS1}: Jonathan González, Lucifer Landing I. “A contemplative space to consider what González terms ‘the entanglements between the state of dispossessed non-being that is Black life with the non-human and the architectural‘.” For tickets and more information on this immersive performance CLICK HERE.

April 25th @ 4PM {MOMA PS1}: Poetry Reading with Rachel Eliza Griffiths and Safiya Sinclair. Join these two award winning writers for an afternoon of poetry and conversation. This event is free with a valid museum admission. For more information CLICK HERE.

April 27th @ 12:30PM {Belmont Park Racetrack}: Spring Craft Beer Festival. Sample over 100 beers (and for the very first time a small selection of wines), while watching and betting on the live horse racing. You’ll be able to sample both local and national craft beers. This is a “pay-one-price ticket,” so you get to enjoy the best of both worlds with the purchase of just one ticket. CLICK HERE for tickets and more information.

April 28th @ 6PM {The Knock Down Center}: Closing Reception for A Continuous Stream of Occurrence with Roarke Menzies. If you haven’t paid this exhibit a visit, this will be your last opportunity. A Continuous Stream of Occurrence is coming to an end and artist Roarke Menzies will be engaging Luba Drozd’s installation with his sound intervention. This event is completely free. For more information, check out my personal review of the exhibition by clicking HERE.

Museum & Gallery Closing Exhibitions:

The Noguchi Museum: Akari Sculpture by Other Means; Akari Unfolded: A Collection by Ymer & Malta {Closing April 14th}

The Knock Down Center: A Continuous Stream Of Occurrence {Closing April 14th}

Museum & Gallery Opening Exhibitions:

The Queens Museum: Alexandria Smith: Monuments to an Effigy; Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas {April 7th to August 18th}

Mrs. Gallery: Caroline Wells Chandler- Tutti Frutti {April 6th to June 1st}

Superchief Gallery NY: Sarah Sitkins: Bodysuits {April 6th to April 27th}

Queens Botanical Garden: Art In The Garden: In Full Bloom {March 29 to August 25}

If you missed the show last night, no worries because there are definitely more in the works. But… You messed up big time. I’m judging all of you (not really). But you did miss an incredible show with some amazing NYC talent. However, I was there to capture my good friend Legit Easy’s showcase and he showed out! Legit performed two of his newest singles last night, before releasing them on his SoundCloud today. The songs definitely had that East Coast flow New Yorkers usually gravitate toward. But then again, with the ease of his rap lyrics and his captivating energy, Legit had the crowd dancing, singing, and yeerr-ing (hollering -or- that NYC chant for a select few) all throughout the performance. The Paper Box is also in that small group of venues where artist can really interact with the crowd, and it makes for an all around amazing showcase of talent. Everyone was feeling the vibe and the music.

I want to leave you all with Legit Easy’s latest single. Don’t forget to follow him @LegitEasy on Instagram – & – follow his music on SoundCloud.

A lot is happening in Queens this week when it comes to the world of art and music. We have performances by some very talented people, and we also have new exhibitions in the borough. Spring is here and I am ready to provide you with all the events you’ll need in order to fill your weekends.

NEW – March 28th @ 7PM {The Astoria Bookshop}: Night Music by Jenn Marie Thorne. Astoria Bookshop will be celebrating the launch of Jenn Marie Thorne’s latest book “Night Music.” Click Here for more information.

NEW – March 29th from 8AM to 4PM {Queens Botanical Garden}: Art in The Garden: In Full Bloom. Three artists, Darya Warner, Amber Vittoria, and Jamie Pesavento, will be exhibiting their works, inspired by “the shape and the form of flowers and bodies in nature.” This exhibition will be shown in the venues visitor & administration building Art Gallery until September 1st. For more information, CLICK HERE.

March 30th @ 7PM {The Knock Down Center}: Kuldeep Singh: THROUGH THE KĀLI-EROS. This installation based performance merges Indian classical dance, visual art and theater. This is a live performance piece and is completely FREE for all. Simply RSVP HEREfor your tickets.

March 30th @ 7:30PM {Flushing Town Hall}: The Queens Symphony Orchestra Master Works Concert Series: The Romantic Heart. I am a huge fan of classical music. Growing up it was the only way I could find focus while working on schoolwork, or muting the chaos of work as an adult. If you’re like me, then you’ll probably love this performance by The Queens Symphony Orchestra. This event is free of charge with a simple RSVP. You do not want to miss this magical performance.

NEW – March 31st from 12-6PM {MOMA PS1}: Spring Open House. MOMA PS1 will be celebrating the opening of a new season of exhibitions. There will be poetry readings, performances and discussions starting at 1PM in the VW Dome. The museum will also be exhibiting works by:Simone Fattal: “Works and Days.” On exhibit until 9/2/19; Gina Beavers: “The Life I Deserve.” On exhibit until 9/2/19; Nancy Spero: “Paper Mirror.” On exhibit until 6/23/19; Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds: “Surviving Active Shooter Custer.” On exhibit until 9/8/19; Zheng Guogu: “Visionary Trasformation.” On exhibit until 6/23/19; Redaction: A Project by Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. On exhibit until 5/5/19; Karrabing film collective. On exhibit until 5/27/19; Elena Lopez Riera: “Those who Desire.” On exhibit until 5/27/19. Make sure to RSVP HERE for free admission to the museum and the surrounding events.

March 31st from 12-10PM {Flushing Town Hall}: Queens Jazz OverGround 2019 Spring Jazz Fest. I know a lot of you are constantly trying to find affordable Jazz events since these usually break the bank. This jazz event hosted by Flushing Town Hall includes performances from Queens based jazz talent and is free of charge for all. Simply RSVP HERE to get your free tickets and enjoy a day filled with fine tunes.

April 1st from 3-4:30PM {MOMA PS1}: Reading by Kiese Laymon and Mitchell S. Jackson. Join these two nonfiction writers as they present a reading of their works. Both authors will be reading their most recent works: Heavy: An American Memoir, by Laymon and The Residue Years, by Jackson. Attendance to these readings is free with museum admission. Click Here for more information.

April 3rd from 7-10PM {Paper Box NYC}: Legit Easy – LIVE HIP HOP PERFORMANCE. Join Queens rapper, Legit Easy, as he takes center stage to debut three new singles before they’re released to the general public on his Sound Cloud. There will also be seven other performances by local artists. Come show some love to this Queens artist and have your mind blown by his incredible talent. Click Here to message Legit Easy directly for advanced tickets. Please note, tickets are $20 at the venue, so get your advanced tickets today. The Paper Box is located at 17 Meadow St. Brooklyn, NY 11206.

*I recommend everyone Clicks Here to hear my favorite track by Legit Easy. It is straight FIRE!!

April 4th @ 7PM {The Astoria Bookshop}: Story Telling Show. For all of you story telling vets, newbies are welcomed as well, join this story telling session. Have your 5 minute personal story ready to share as names will be drawn at random for participation. For more information on this fun activity CLICK HERE.

Flor De Toloache

April 5th @ 8PM {Flushing Town Hall}: Flor De Toloache. “Latin Grammy Award-winning all-female mariachi group Flor de Toloache is pushing genre boundaries with their fresh, versatile take on traditional Mexican music with explosive vocal harmonies and searing solos rounded out by soaring violin, nimble vihuela, bright trumpets, and propulsive guitarron.” I actually had the privilege of seeing Flor De Toloache at House of Yes for a live performance a few years back, and they are INCREDIBLE! There was definitely a standing ovation at the end of their performance. I definitely recommend purchasing your tickets to this event ASAP before the sell out.

Are You Ready for SPRING?!

Spring is only a day away! Literally. Like tomorrow. So I thought it would be a nice gesture of appreciation to gift all of you loyal readers with a One-Stop-Shop for all Spring related activities right here in Queens. There is A LOT happening here in our own backyard. And I definitely did not forget to include events for the parents out there, or those that are big kids at heart like ME. And for all of you penny pinching, I have a ton of FREE events as well, because who doesn’t love FREE EVERYTHING. So I suggest you get those calendar apps ready because you’re going to want to save most, if not all of these events.

March 21-31st {Museum of Moving Image & Others}: Queens World Film Festival. As part of the 9th annual QWFF the Museum of Moving Image will be showing two films, starting with Thousand Pieces of Gold on Tuesday, March 26th @ 7PM. For a list of future film screenings and tickets, CLICK HERE. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity. There are films for all ages and tastes. Also, for my LGBT community, check out “IT GETS BETTER” on Friday, March 22nd; A series of films that encompass a message of hope for the LGBTQ community and its youth.

March 21st @ 7:30PM {Flushing Town Hall}: “LADY GOT CHOPS: Women’s History Month Festival.” A night filled with female jazz musicians from all cultural backgrounds. Click Here for tickets and more information on this incredible event. I highly recommend this event for all of those who are in love, or slowly falling in love with Jazz. Perfect for a date night or for my ladies on girls night!

March 23rd @ 12PM {Museum of Moving Image}: “Family Program: Oscar Nominated Shorts 2019.” Did you watch the Oscars this year? Well I did and the short films that were nominated really caught my attention. I actually watched “Period. End of Sentence,” by Rayka Zehtabchi, which won the Oscar for best short film this year, and I can’t recommend it enough. Now there were a few other shorts that didn’t win, but they’re all really as incredible. Make sure you purchase tickets to this very special screening at the Museum of Moving Image ASAP before tickets run out. CLICK HERE!

March 23rd @ 2PM {Flushing Town Hall}: Music In Color: Gabriela Lena Frank. Join this free musical event by American composer, Gabriela Lena Frank. The multi-ethnic composer will be performing along side Kirya Traber. Make sure to sign up for your FREE tickets HERE.

March 23rd from 1-4PM {Queens Botanical Garden}: Children’s Garden Open House. This event is for the kids! The Queens Botanical Garden has set up planting activities and garden crafts for kids ages 2 to 14. “See how worms wiggle, touch and discover the QBG plant collection, create your own tasty and healthy trail mix, plant your own seedling in the Children’s Garden, or do a garden-wide scavenger hunt.” This event is completely FREE with RSVP so CLICK HERE to register your kids and yourself.

March 23rd & 24th {MOMA PS1}: Come Together: Music Festival and Label Market. Attention all music aficionados: MOMA PS1 in collaboration with Iconic Record Shop are holding their third annual music and label market festival. There will be live performances, workshops, films and panels. They will also have over 75 record labels represented. So you do not want to miss this opportunity. Tickets are still on sale CLICK HERE. The events hours have been extended on Saturday from 12-6PM, and if you buy a Festival Package you’ll be granted admission until 9PM. Check out the full activities schedule HERE.

March 24th from 10AM – 5PM {Queens College}: The Queens Chocolate Fest. Are you a chocolate feen like I am? Look no further! Queens College is hosting this mouth watering event, and tickets are very affordable. For more information on this event CLICK HERE

March 24th @ 2:15PM {Flushing Town Hall}: “Underneath a Magical Moon: A Reimagining of Peter Pan.” This play is for ages 3 and up, so if your kids are at that age where they can sit still, TAKE THEM!! I can’t stress the importance of introducing the arts to children. One of my all-time favorite things to do is to go see a Broadway play or live theater. Remember Hook fans, Peter Pan is for the kids and the big kid still living within all of us. For tickets CLICK HERE

March 30th @ 7PM {The Knock Down Center}: Kuldeep Singh: THROUGH THE KĀLI-EROS. This installation based performance merges Indian classical dance, visual art and theater. This is a live performance piece and is completely FREE for all. Simply RSVP HERE for your tickets.

March 30th @ 7:30PM {Flushing Town Hall}: The Queens Symphony Orchestra Master Works Concert Series: The Romantic Heart. I am a huge fan of classical music. Growing up it was the only way I could find focus while working on schoolwork, or muting the chaos of work as an adult. If you’re like me, then you’ll probably love this performance by The Queens Symphony Orchestra. This event is free of charge with a simple RSVP. You do not want to miss this magical performance.

March 31st from 12-10PM {Flushing Town Hall}: Queens Jazz OverGround 2019 Spring Jazz Fest. I know a lot of you are constantly trying to find affordable Jazz events since these usually break the bank. This jazz event hosted by Flushing Town Hall includes performances from Queens based jazz talent and is free of charge for all. Simply RSVP HERE to get your free tickets and enjoy a day filled with fine tunes.

Socrates Sculpture Park

Wow! Just WOW! I can’t even begin to tell you how magical Socrates Sculpture Park is. It is hands down one of my favorite parks in Queens. It could be due to my childhood infatuation with the park. My dad would always drive past it on our way to Costco. I would ask if we could take a peak inside, but my parents were always on a mission to get the groceries and get home. I would see these huge steel sculptures peaking out from behind the parks bushes. Sometimes I would even stick my head out the window, hoping to get a better look at the sheer magnitude of these pieces. They were MASSIVE! I was also barely a teenager, and still a tiny human being who felt this city was this scary and larger-than-life place.

However, Socrates never ceases to amaze me, and that’s hard to do for a strict critic like myself. They really BROUGHT-IT with their current exhibitions. From artist Amy Brener’s “Fort-dress” (a translucent hot-pink partial shelter that encompasses the female body and form) to Nathaniel Cummings-Lambert’s “Corral,” (a labyrinth made up of wood fencing and gating, inspired by animal pens found in rural areas) there is art for every taste. I actually got lost for a bit and almost lost my sanity while attempting to get through Corral. It’s hard to admit, but I’m really not the brightest when it comes to paying attention to directions, very much like my driving. Although it was both fun and annoying to lose myself in a labyrinth, nothing beats Sherwin Banfield’s “A Cypher in Queens.” For a girl from Queens there is literally nothing cooler than seeing your childhood hero’s propped up like gods in gold. Sherwin has created three statues, one for each of Queen’s fallen hip-hop soldiers (Jam Master Jay, Phife Dawg, and Prodigy) and he was somehow able to incorporate speakers, so as you’re looking up at your hip-hop gods you’re also listen to their greatest hits. How sick is that?!

I suggest that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE go and check out Socrates Sculpture Park in the next fews days. Rumor has it we’re in for some warm weather, so what better excuse to take in the sun while enjoying some awesome art. Also, if any of these pieces caught your attention, I suggest you pay the park a visit on or BEFORE March 24th, as this will be the last day they will be exhibited thanks to a recent extension by park administration. Admission to the park is completely FREE!

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite flicks from my visit.

Fenty & Sade

All things Sade, everyday. That woman sure knows how to get me inspired. Her voices depth, her flawless skin, these are just some of the things I admire her for. But on this day, it was more than just the music. I have been a huge fan of the Fenty makeup line, and let me tell you, her lipsticks do not disappoint. I am all for matte lipsticks and eyeshadows, and Rihanna has brought us just that. Todays shade is called Unveil, and it is straight off the Stunna Lip Paint series. The smooth application and lightweight feel will have you thinking you’re walking around with bare lips. But don’t be fooled, the color is vivid and it is long lasting. I re-applied only once this night, and it’s only because I grabbed a quick bite to eat while on the go. Most importantly, I was repping two strong, black women, who inspire me to strive for greatness everyday. 

P.S. I’m wearing my new go to eye shadow palette, Mad for Matte by e.l.f. cosmetics in “Jewel Pop.”