"...plaintive, mesmerizing...writes and performs with the skill of a folk-circuit veteran..." -Rolling Stone
"Where bluegrass meets Nina Simone" - The Guardian
"You want some authenticity in your folk music or bluegrass – I give you Kaia Kater." -No Depression
FRI | JUNE 7
Hambone and Body Percussion Workshop at 7 PM, Concert at 8 PM
Introduction to Hambone and Body Percussion: This is an introduction to and exploration of different body rhythms native to the Southern United States, with a focus on African-American hambone traditions. Participants will also learn to create their own body percussion as well as getting to experiment with layering different rhythms on top of each other in order to create a polyrhythmic beat. This is a participatory workshop. No instruments or prior experience required.
Tickets: $16/$10 Members & Students/FREE for Teens
Kaia Kater – banjo, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Dan Rougeau – electric and lap steel guitars, backing vocals
Andrew Ryan – upright bass and backing vocals
Known for her prowess as a songwriter and tradition bearer who performs with “the skill of a folk-circuit veteran” (Rolling Stone), Grenadian-Canadian artist Kaia Kater took a decidedly different direction for her new album, Grenades, works from which she is currently performing on tour. What started out as a search to discover the roots of her identity became a physical and emotional exploration of history, in particular her paternal ancestry, and has led to bold new heights of imagination and creative expression.
Her father Deno grew up in Grenada, fleeing to Canada in 1986 as part young speakers program, after the U.S. invasion. His voice can be heard recounting those events during the album's interludes — a way for the Toronto-based songwriter to tie her present with his past, in order to understand our current global climate of war, unease, immigration, and displacement. Kater revisits the past in songs like “La Misère” and “Grenades”; touches on the present in “Canyonland” and “New Colossus”; and looks to the future in “Poets Be Buried.”
To fully immerse herself in the story, Kater traveled to her father's homeland — her first visit as an adult. “Going home to Grenada felt like shining a light into a part of myself previously shadowed,” she says. She hoped to find the answers to a lifetime’s worth of questions: questions which found their way into these songs as she considered “the legacy of lineage and of fractured family trees.”
Kater wrote all of the songs on Grenades, but had a little help with “La Misère” from an Emory Cook recording she found in the Smithsonian Folkways Archives. “Cook collected songs from the village of Boca in Grenada, which is very near my father’s birthplace,” Kater notes. The nameless melody caught her ear, so she recorded it. When she couldn't make out the French griot-like words, she made up some of her own. “The song has that half-singing/half-shouting schoolyard call and response, but it’s centered around the theme of misery,” she notes. “I love having dark themes ensconced in happy melodies. Somehow it feels more real that way.”
With this, her fourth, release, Grenades has earned Kaia further acclaim and critical praise. The album was nominated for a JUNO award (Canadian Grammy), and Kaia was invited to perform on NPR’s Tiny Desk. She continues to tour the album throughout North America, the U.K. and Europe in to 2020.
Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts dba Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Council Members Adrienne Adams, Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Barry Grodenchik, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Francisco Moya, Paul A. Vallone, and Jimmy Van Bramer; and the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.
Support for our programs is also provided by Atlantic Philanthropies Director/Employee Designated Gift Program, Cathay Bank, Michael Cheng / Epos Development, Chinese Overseas University, Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou / New York Institute of Culture and the Arts, Con Edison, Crossings TV, Heidi & Jonathan Davis, Exploring the Metropolis, Steven Facey, Kuang-Yu Fong / Chinese Theatre Works, Barbara Garii, The Glow Foundation, Heather Harrison, Raymond D. Jasen, Jim Henson Foundation, Keith Haring Foundation, Ellen Kodadek, Kenneth Koranyi, Nelson Lee / Flushing Bank, Law Offices of Vincent Toomey, James S. Liao, Emily Lin / Lin & Loveall Foundation, Linden Arts Fund for Children, Anita Liu, Louis Armstrong Education Foundation, Lyell Korea, Materials for the Arts, William McClure, NYC & Company Foundation, New York Community Bank Foundation, Northwell Health, Queens Art Education Center / Arthur Liu, Queens College, Queens Courier, Georgiana Reese-Benatti, RuDance / Asian American Dance Sport Corp., Mike Sperendi & Jan Schneider, Vincent Toomey, Mei Ya Tsai, Veronica Tsang, Claire Shulman, Tai & Tony Wang / WAC Lighting, Jay Wegman, Jonathan White, Edwina & Eldwin Wong, Minwen Yang, Hank Yeh, and gifts made in loving memory of Amal Hussain and Irene and Maxwell Seligman.
This engagement of Kaia Kater is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours Program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.