Carol Sudhalter loves music. One the one hand, she plays flute, baritone sax, and tenor sax. On the other, she has pioneered such gigs as the Athens Square Park Jazz Mondays series, the Astoria/LIC Waterfront Jazz Festival, and the Sunset Jazz Concerts also in Astoria.

In 1986, the Boston transplant founded the Astoria Big Band, which jams all over the borough — at street fairs, in churches, in front of carousels — to promote its namesake genre.


A global family reunion will take place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park this Saturday — and everybody on the planet is invited. In the same place on the following day, a huge World’s Fair anniversary celebration will offer everything from classic cars to live music. Other activities include experimental dance, foreign films, a bike parade, racetrack art, tree-counting, and even scissor crafts. Here’s the rundown.

June 5, Global Mashup: Haiti Meets China, 8 pm. The Agoci band from Haiti serves up Kompa music, while FJ Music Fusion plays traditional Chinese music. Each group performs a set, and then both groups do an impromptu jam together. Dance lesson at 7 pm. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard.

June 5, The Way Out, 7 pm. Screened as part of the Panorama Europe 2015 film festival,Way Out follows a Romany woman who perseveres in the face of anti-gypsy racism to find steady employment. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Kaufman Arts District.


What’s in a name? O Sole Trio consists of three musicians who amaze audiences with plenty of Italian music, especially opera arias and Neopolitan songs. But this Sunnyside-based ensemble also dazzles with virtuoso piano and violin playing, jazz and American pop standards, and a stage presence heavy on punny humor and crowd interaction. Erin Shields (center) provides the lush soprano. Giuseppe Spoletini (right) takes care of the baritone. And David Shenton, who is actually Erin’s husband, has the melodies. He can actually play violin and piano at the same time. They perform all over the world, but they like to do an annual show at Sunnyside Reformed Church because it’s close to home and they love the pastor and the congregation. So get ready for a cozy night during which “Figaro” might be followed by a Madonna tune in doo wop style, and then the crowd favorite, a diddy about a lonely oyster.

Details: O Sole Trio, Sunnyside Reformed Church, 48th Street and Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, Saturday, December 13th, 7 pm, no charge, but donations accepted.

Photos: O Sole Trio


In the early 1990s, Reverend Vince Anderson dropped out of Union Theological Seminary, where he was studying to be a Methodist minister, because he wanted to pursue a career in music. Over the next few years, he and his Love Choir filled hipster hang outs like Black Betty and Union Pool in Williamsburg, while he led a church choir and studied to get ordained. He’s now happily pastoring and playing his unique brand of “rockin’ gospel,” bellowing out songs about Jesus and Job in a style that can elicit Motown, soul, jazz and a sermon at the same time. This Saturday night, Reverend Vince and his music will fill Sunnyside Reformed Church, where the audience will be clapping their hands and grooving in their seats.

Details: Vince Anderson & Friends, Sunnyside Reformed Church, 48-03 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, March 22nd, 7 pm, free, but donations accepted.


In 1964, more than 700 college students trekked to Mississippi to join other volunteers and community organizers to register African Americans to vote. Over a 10-week period known as “Freedom Summer,” these activists encountered stiff resistance from the Ku Klux Klan and even all-white local law enforcement agencies that included the murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches and the bombing of 70 homes and community centers. However, their efforts aided the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which registered voters and sent 68 members to the 1964 Democratic National Convention to confront and unseat the all-white state delegation. On February 22nd, Stanley Nelson, a filmmaker and 2002 MacArthur Genius Fellow, will screen his documentary, Freedom Summer, at Sunnyside Reformed Church. He will also be in attendance for a Q&A related to this powerful movie, which won three Primetime Emmy Awards. Freedom Summer debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, but it will make its East Coast premiere in Sunnyside.

Details: Freedom Summer, Sunnyside Reformed Church, 48th Street and Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, February 22nd, 7 pm, free with suggested donation.


Beware: You will want to take voice lessons after this performance. O Sole Trio charms audiences with an eclectic mix of everything from Italian opera to jazz,  dazzling piano and violin solos and chuckle-inducing stage antics. Canadian baritone Giuseppe Spoletini (right) deftly blends Gospel, arias and other musical genres with his classically trained voice. Erin Shields (center), a soprano, has a vocal versatility that delights everywhere from jazz clubs to cabaret venues to opera companies. David Shenton (left) is a talented English pianist, violinist, composer and arranger whose jazzy album, Sunnyside Blues, is inspired by the Queens neighborhood where he has settled. This Thursday, they will perform at one of their favorite venues, arguably their home-away-from-home, Sunnyside Reformed Church.

Details: O Sole Trio, Sunnyside Reformed Church, 48-03 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, December 19th, 7 pm, free with requested donation.


Image Source: City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

Sunnyside native Benjamin Andrew Wheeler was among the victims of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To honor this beloved six-year-old and his grieving family – and all who are reeling from this tragedy – the community will gather at Sunnyside Reformed Church today, December 18. Participants will then proceed together to Sunnyside Gardens Park, where Ben and his older brother used to spend countless hours before moving to Connecticut about two years ago. Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who reportedly died valiantly trying to save others from the triggerman, also has family in Queens. Please bring candles and expect songs and speeches. Woodside’s Aubergine Café will provide hot cocoa.

Candlelight Vigil in Memory of Sandy Hook Victims
Sunnyside Reformed Church
48th Street and Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside
Tuesday, December 18
6pm – 7pm | FREE!


Image Source: Sunnyside Reformed Church

David Shenton (above) is a pianist, violinist, composer and arranger who was recently commissioned to write a ballet for The Pendulum Aerial Dance Company in Portland. Giuseppe Spoletini, who has performed operas and recitals throughout Canada and the U.S., recently completed his first Inspirational/Gospel CD, Now Sings My Soul. Erin Shields has performed leading roles for many reputable music festivals and opera companies.

Shenton, Spoletini and Shields also form O Sole Trio, which has a residency at NYC’s Metropolitan Room. On Saturday night, Dec. 8, the Trio will give a free concert at Sunnyside Reformed Church.
Sunnyside Reformed Church
Saturday, December 8, 2012
7pm – 9pm | FREE with donations gratefully accepted