Queens Dance Party with Michael Thomas Quintet
Tuesday, July 27 at 7:30pm ET
This summer, Queens Theatre will step to a new beat in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with Queensboro Dance Festival. Queens Theatre and Queensboro Dance Festival will present you the "Queens Dance Party" series:
A series of 4 Tuesday evenings featuring all Queens-based dance performances, followed by a mini audience dance lesson and open dance floor party to a different Queens live band each week! Dance into the evening with us!
The free performances will start at 7:30pm ET on our new outdoor summer stage just yards away from our facilities in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Tickets are free but required.
7:30 - 8 PM ET
Dance Performances and Mini Dance Lesson, featuring Sheep Meadow Dance Theater, chrisbelldances, and Gotham Dance Theater.
8 - 9 PM ET
Open Dance Party to the Live Music of Michael Thomas Quintet
Sheep Meadow Dance Theater (Long Island City) director Billy Blanken started his career with Amy Marshall Dance Company before joining Ballets Grandiva. His credits include; Mobile Ballet, CoDa 21, Catherine Gallant Dance and others. Billy has taught at Peridance, Rioult Dance Center, the Jakarta Intercultural School, the National School in Tirana, Albania, Gibney Dance, Logrea Dance Academy, and others.
chrisbelldances (Long Island City): Choreographer Chris Bell (MFA/BS Dance, BS Geology) makes work with Raja Feather Kelly and Eryc Taylor Dance. @chrisbelldances has presented evening length works at Dixon Place, Gibney Dance Center & Green Space & was the first dance company in residence at Cherry Grove Community House America's oldest continuously operating LGBTQIA+ Theater.
Gotham Dance Theater (Woodside) director Marc Nuñez is a Filipinx-American choreographer and dancer. Credits: commercial dance (Rihanna, Todrick Hall), musical theatre (Peter Pan, Newsies), concert dance (BARE Dance Company, Entity Contemporary). Gotham Dance Theater credits: Queensboro Dance Festival (2015-2020), The Performance Project at The University Settlement (2016-17), Boundless in Brooklyn 48-Hour Film Contest Winner (2017).
About Michael Thomas Quintet
Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer, and arranger Michael Thomas has been an active member of the New York City jazz community since arriving in 2011. Holding degrees from the University of Miami, New England Conservatory, and The Juilliard School, Michael has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including tours in Central and South America, Australia, Europe, Japan, and Russia. He has appeared as a sideman with Brad Mehldau, Dafnis Prieto, Nicholas Payton, Miguel Zenón, Etienne Charles, and Jason Palmer, and Michael’s talents can be heard on over 30 recordings. According to the New York Times, Michael writes “energetic, tuneful music for both combos and large ensembles”, and All About Jazz describes his playing as “a particular revelation, as he provides superb, well-crafted solos”.
Michael has been commissioned by school and professional ensembles throughout the United States and abroad, and he is currently a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City. Since 2015, Michael has co-lead the Terraza Big Band, and the ensemble’s GRAMMY-nominated first album, One Day Wonder, was released in May 2019 on Outside In Music. Michael’s work has been recognized by DownBeat magazine as well as the “Keep an Eye” competition in Amsterdam, NL, and in 2020 he was chosen by the USAF Airmen of Note as the winner of the Sammy Nestico Award. Michael also participated in the New York Youth Symphony’s First Music commission series in 2016, and he continues to work as an arranger and orchestrator for clients around the world. In addition to his work as a big band composer, Michael also regularly leads his quartet, releasing Event Horizon in May 2020 on GiantStep Arts.
Since September 2018, Michael has been on faculty at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music as an Artist Teacher of jazz saxophone in the Jackie McLean Jazz Studies Institute.
For more information, please visit https://www.michaelthomasjazz.com/.
About Queensboro Dance Festival
Queensboro Dance Festival was launched in 2014 with the mission to strengthen the dance community in Queens, and inspire a greater appreciation of Queens dance. They are a comprehensive tour of performances and classes featuring all Queens-based dance companies, bringing programming to various indoor and outdoor public spaces throughout Queens neighborhoods. The 2021 Queensboro Dance Festival tour runs through October 3. See their 2021 tour schedule at www.queensborodancefestival.com or follow them on Instagram @queensborodancefestival for updates!