Global Mashup #2: Egypt Meets Haiti
QPTV’s Roslyn Nieves joins Flushing Town Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek, Deputy Director Sami Abu Shumays, Jazz Producer Clyde Bullard, and Shawn Choi, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement, to bring you Flushing Town Hall’s Global Mashups Series on Queens Public Television's channels. In each Global Mashup concert, two cultures are mashed up on one stage with an open dance floor! First, each band plays a set, then the two meet and jam. The mashup often results in a unique, never-before-heard blend of two different cultures. QPTV captured the entertaining cultural series and now the television programs will cablecast in Queens on Spectrum, RCN, and Verizon FiOS for the first time! Here’s Zikrayat, playing a wide repertory of Egyptian music ranging from exciting Bellydance numbers to virtuosic improvisations. Zikrayat (“memories” in Arabic) is a NYC-based ensemble that performs traditional and modern Arabic music and dance from Egypt, Syria, and the greater Arab world. Zikrayat highlights rare and little-known gems from the “Golden Age” of Egyptian cinema and the 1930’s-60s. The ensemble’s mission is to highlight the diversity of Arab culture for mainstream Western audiences in an authentic, yet entertaining contemporary representation. Zikrayat, founded by violinist, vocalist and composer Sami Abu Shumays, has performed at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, GlobalFEST, Alwan for the Arts, The American Folk Festival, the Lowell Folk Festival, and numerous other venues and festivals across New York City and the United States. Sung in English, French, and Haitian Creole to a background of African Rhythms, “Compa Music” is undeniably infectious, high energy, and fun to dance to. Dousing FTH with flavor of this rich and varied music is The Agoci Band led by Rol’hans Innocent. The Agoci Band is a group of Haitian Musicians that combine fresh Hip-Hop, Roots and Calypso flavors with Haitian Compas. Agoci, is based in N.Y.C. and made up of a very dedicated group of musicians eager to share the culture and heritage of Haiti with the world. Rol’hans describes his original songs as follows: “Our music embraces the joy and struggle of our people. For the past four years we’ve had the opportunity to entertain a great capacity of audiences in The Dominican Republic and the United States. Our hit single Rozo, released in 2014, was received very well internationally. Land of the Drum, Banm Tanbou, Neg Ginen and Fre Tijean are some of the most requested songs on their recent album released in 2017”. Agoci, a search for the inner soul, is a full cultural experience. The band leader teacher turned singer, Rol’hans Innocent graduated from Brooklyn College, with a Bachelor’s in Performing Arts and a Master’s in Education.