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Wonderful sounds of Asia, Europe, and Latin America will fill the Queens air this weekend during three different concerts. The fun starts on Saturday afternoon, when the EastRiver Ensemble presents a workshop on Chinese music at 1 pm, followed by a concert at 2:15 pm. This group presents traditional folk music, dance, and acrobatics with a focus on the Dongbei and Hebei regions of north China. Instruments include the yangqin (dulcimer), the pipa (lute), flutes, fiddles, and percussion. More photos and information are on the jump page.

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It’s the most diverse county in the world and the best tourism destination in the United States, so it’s no surprise that Queens is overflowing with wonderful Valentine’s Day activities and bargains. In fact, local chances for romance and fun related to this international holiday are so numerous that they run for more than two weeks and include everything from live music to a “love run,” hotel getaways, and even a blood drive for the do-gooders. Another photo and many more details are on the jump page.

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Forget the aspirin. Take two Queens concerts this weekend, and you will feel great on Monday morning. On Saturday, the Quintet of the Americas (below), a group of woodwind specialists with a South American sound, will perform tango songs with world-renowned pianist/conductor Pablo “King of the Zarzuela” Zinger in Flushing. Unique to its core, the quintet was actually formed 1976 in Bogotá by U.S. citizens who were principal wind players in the Colombian National Orchestra. The group relocated to Queens in 1979. On Sunday in its home neighborhood, the Astoria Symphony Orchestra and Choir (above) will perform German masterpieces, emphasizing the dichotomies of classical vs. romantic, choral vs. orchestral and Mendelssohn vs. Wagner vs. Mozart. Those who arrive 30 minutes before the show will be able to chat with Maestro Silas Nathaniel Huff, who will discuss the program, the musicians and other secrets.

Saturday details: A Celebration of the Tango, Flushing Library, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing, March 29th, 1:30 pm, free.

Sunday details: Dichotomies, Mount Carmel Institute, 23-20 Newtown Avenue, Astoria, March 30, 5 pm, $20/$15 for seniors and students.

Top photo: ASO; bottom photo: QOTA

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Finally a Father’s Day gift he will really appreciate! This Sunday at the Queens Botanical Garden, a unique, talented, completely local group will play songs composed by present and former borough residents. Expect Quintet of the Americas (above) to perform jazz by Louis Armstrong (Corona) and classical and symphony pieces by Soong Fu-Yuan (Briarwood), James Cohn (Douglaston), Beata Moon (Forest Hills) and Morton Gould (Richmond Hill). The band might also try sounds from Harry Potter and Star Wars by John Williams (Flushing). The concert kicks off QBG’s Music in the Garden series, which will feature live performances of Balinese, Irish and Arab genres. Details: Quintet of the Americas, QBG, 43-50 Main St., Flushing, 2 pm to 3:30 pm, $4.

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Image Source: Quintet of the Americas

The borough’s past and present will sound so beautiful. On April 9, Jamaica’s Center for Mediation Services will host Queens-based musicians who will play songs celebrating composers who once lived in the world’s most diverse county. The program will feature “Wind Quintet” by Beata Moon (Forest Hills), “Quintet No. 2 for Winds” by James Cohn (Douglaston), “The Stuff of Comets” by Dylan Glatthorn (Astoria) and “Sincerita” by Christopher Caliendo (Jackson Heights). But the beat goes on. The concert will include music by past residents, including jazz by Louis Armstrong (Corona), the classical music of Soong Fu-Yuan (Briarwood), rags by Scott Joplin (buried in East Elmhurst), “Pavanne” by Morton Gould (Richmond Hill) and music from the Harry Potter films by John Williams (Flushing).

Center for Mediation Services
89-64 163rd Street, Jamaica
Tuesday, April 9
1pm – 2pm  |  Free

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Image Source: Quintet.org

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO AN EMERGENCY SURGERY. IT WILL BE RE-SCHEDULED AND THE NEW DATE WILL BE PROMOTED.
Queens will sound so beautiful. On March 23, the Flushing Branch Library will host borough-based world musicians who will play songs by past Queens residents. The program will feature woodwind quintets by Beata Moon (a resident of Forest Hills) and James Cohn (Douglaston), The Stuff of Comets by Dylan Glatthorn (Astoria), tangos by Christopher Caliendo (Jackson Heights) and the premiere of a new work based on Tibetan influence by Xinyan Li (Flushing). But the beat goes on. The concert will feature music by past residents including jazz by Louis Armstrong (Corona), rags by Scott Joplin (who is buried in St. Michael Cemetery in East Elmhurst), Pavanne by Pulitzer Prize-winner Morton Gould (Richmond Hill), music from the Harry Potter films by Academy Award-winner John Williams (Flushing) and William Grant Still’s theme song for the 1939 Worlds Fair.

 

Flushing Branch Library
41-17 Main Street, Flushing
Saturday, March 23
2pm – 4:30pm|Free

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Image Source: Quintet of the Americas

Five musicians. Three concerts. Two days. One borough. The Quintet of the Americas will perform the Crystal Winter series in Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and Bayside on January 15 and 16. The multi-faceted group will play seasonal songs from around the world in front of projected images of crystals, snowflakes, winter scenes and Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night. Expect Van Gogh-inspired jam sessions and audience members jumping the stage to join in with bells, jingling keys and water glasses. The band will also do golden oldies such as Sammy Cahn’s “Let It Snow” and “Silver Bells,” an arrangement of Sergie Prokofiev’s Troika from Lt. Kije Suite.

Salvation Army Temple
86-07 35th Avenue, Jackson Heights
Tuesday, January 15
11am – 12:30pm | Free

Elm-Cor Senior Center
98-19 Astoria Boulevard, East Elmhurst
Tuesday, January 15
1:30pm – 3pm | Free

Catholic Charities Bayside Senior Center
221-15 Horace Harding Boulevard, Bayside
Wednesday, January 16
12:15pm – 1:45pm | Free