Tag Archives: JAMS Under the Stars

Jamaica JAMS to rock 10 blocks this weekend

| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of  Cultural Collaborative Jamaica

Two decades ago, a group of residents and community leaders got together to discuss ways to promote their neighborhood and spur economic development. They decided to organize an outdoor event to celebrate the area’s cultural diversity, culinary competence and creative talent.

The result was the Jamaica Arts & Music Summer Festival or JAMS, which attracted about 7,000 people to its debut in 1996. Since then, the annual event has grown into one of New York City’s biggest summer destinations with almost 200,000 revelers filling 10 blocks of Jamaica Avenue and enjoying live performances, fashion, arts and more than 500 vendors.

This year, the fun begins on Friday, Aug. 7, with a free concert — JAMS Under the Stars — at Rufus King Park in the vicinity of 153rd Street and 89th Avenue from 5 to 10 p.m. Scheduled performers include Toni Ann Semple, a powerful singer who blends the nuances of her African and Native American heritages into soul, funk and jazz; DJ Jordan Knoxx, a mixologist from nearby Hollis; and Dallas Forte, a Christian crooner who hails from Guyana.

On the second day of JAMS, Aug. 8, organizers say that “an extra special artist” will present. They want this person’s identity to be a secret until stage time, but attendees can expect rap, R&B and even a martial arts demonstration by the Resobox Japanese Cultural Center. The stretch on Jamaica Avenue from Parsons Boulevard to 170th Street will be a pedestrian-free zone divided into sections.

A “kid safe play area” will host face-painting, arts and crafts, and a climbing wall, while a health expo will provide access to check-ups and wellness activities. There will also be a seniors pavilion and a classic car show.


What to do in Queens this weekend

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The Unisphere was lit-up red for American Heart Month

Friday, August 3 – Sunday, August 5

The Rural Route Film Festival’s specific focus on rural life brings together like-minded films and artists whose work might otherwise be ignored or lost within broader-based programming. The festival’s fiction, documentary and experimental programs are dedicated to highlighting people, places, and cultures not normally represented in mainstream media. Screening times vary.

Big The Musical takes the stage at St Gregory’s Theatre Group, the story of a frustrated teenager who wishes he were “big” and wakes up the next day a 30-year-old man. He discovers there’s much more to being an adult than he bargained for. Performances on Friday and Saturday start at 8 p.m. Sunday’s performance starts at 2 p.m.

Friday, August 3

5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., On the first Friday of each month in the summer, The Noguchi Museum offers extended hours and free admission. Visitors will be able to explore the permanent collection galleries, and enjoy a cash bar with wine and beer in the museum’s celebrated outdoor sculpture garden.

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.,  JAMS Under the Stars is an evening outdoor concert that kicks off the next day of festivities for the Jamaica Arts and Music Summer (JAMS) Festival. This year, JAMS Under the Stars will pay homage to the legacy of Soul Train and the musical legends of Jazz, R&B, Rock and Funk.

6:30 p.m., Enjoy a night of live music and a free screening of “Fire In Babylon on the lawn at the Queens Museum of Art. The music starts at 6:30, and the film at 8.

7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.,  Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at Sunnyside Gardens Park. The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, August 4 – Sunday, August 5

The 22nd Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) features cash and prizes for competitors in this year’s US Dragon Boat Open Championship. Other festival events consist of several Special Cup races including The Hong Kong Cup and the Municipal Cup featuring various teams from our elected officials.

Saturday, August 4

11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.,  The Jamaica Arts and Music Summer (JAMS) Festival is an open-air event that highlights the multicultural fabric of the borough and provides a vehicle for tourism and economic development for downtown Jamaica and the surrounding areas. Come join us for a day of multi-cultural family fun, shopping, community resources and entertainment, located on 10 blocks of Jamaica Avenue, which is closed off to vehicular traffic, from Parsons Blvd, to 169th Street.

12 p.m. – 4 p.m., The Queens County Market monthly pop-up food market features the diverse culinary entrepreneurs of Queens and New York City. This Saturday’s market will be at Laughing Devil, 47-38 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City.

2:00 p.m., Come to the free annual big band concert at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, featuring the York College Summer Jazz Institute.

3:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., The Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert is a free event that honors Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke, one of the most renowned jazz musicians of the 1920s and a one-time resident of Sunnyside. He died at his home on Bliss St. (46th St.) on Aug. 6, 1931 at the age of 28.

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” on the northern lawn at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City.

Sunday, August 5

1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Come celebrate the annual Ratha Yatra parade, beginning at 1:00 p.m. sharp from the corner of Liberty Avenue and 123rd Street, and continuing all the way to Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir at 111-14 101 Ave in South Richmond Hill. at 3:00 pm, followed by the Festival of India until 8:00 p.m. Free sumptuous prasadam will be served all day long and there will be a full afternoon packed with dramas, dances, bhajans, devotional talks and fun for the entire family.

5:00 p.m. – 7:30- p.m., Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Catch a free screening of Kung Fu Panda 2 at O’Donohue Park off of Seagirt Boulevard at Beach 17th Street in Far Rockaway.

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: JAMS Under the Stars

JAMS Under the Stars is an evening outdoor concert that kicks off the next day of festivities for the Jamaica Arts and Music Summer (JAMS) Festival. This year, JAMS Under the Stars will pay homage to the legacy of Soul Train and the musical legends of Jazz, R&B, Rock and Funk.

Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Residents say livery cabs block their driveways

Parking is a daily struggle for Queens homeowner Renee Graham, even though she has her own driveway. “I come home, I can’t even pull in my driveway,” she says. “The driveway’s being blocked. I have to back into my neighbor’s driveway some in order just to get in. Read more: [NY1]

Ice cream truck ‘turf wars’ hit sour note

Jackson Heights residents aren’t sweet on playground-invading ice cream trucks or their late-night rounds. Increasingly aggressive vendors are encroaching on play places and blasting jingles deep into the night, residents said. But the drivers say that unpermitted push-cart vendors are eating into their sales, prompting them to adopt hard-sell tactics to make ends meet. Read more: [NY Daily News]

Queens residents continue to clean out flooded homes

Some residents in Queens spent Thursday trying to dry out from damage from the previous day’s powerful rains. Flushing Meadows residents who live along Utopia Parkway between 65th and 69th Avenues were hit especially hard. Read More: [NY 1]

Goldman to invest in Rikers program

New York City officials said Thursday that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has agreed to invest nearly $10 million in an antirecidivism program for adolescents at Rikers Island—an experiment in social-services financing that the city hopes to expand into areas such as homelessness prevention and health care. Read more: [Wall Street Journal]

Hospital rejects donated body as too fat for science

George Cardel’s final wish died with him — doomed by his hefty 300-pound frame. The Queens mechanical engineer had hoped to donate his body to science, but that dream was dashed when a medical school rejected his corpse because of its girth, a $2 million lawsuit claims. Read more: [NY Daily News]