QUEENS — It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.
Starting this Friday evening, local blues, gospel and jazz artists will be performing holiday music at the Jamaica Center subway station, hoping to lift Christmas spirit in the neighborhood.
“Music changes the atmosphere,” said gospel jazz artist, Petula Beckles, 33, who will kick off the series on Dec. 20. "I'm just really happy to able to give back to my own community.”
Beckles, a Jamaica resident, also participates in the MTA’s Music Under New York program.
“It will be kind of 'Music under Jamaica,'” Beckles said.
Other artists who will perform at the station include Miya Bass, who auditioned for this year’s season of "The X Factor," and Tiff Salmon, a York College theater arts student. JahPan will play on steel drums on Dec. 24, and a string trio made up of high school students — Nia Cayenne, Craig Joseph and Douglas Mays — will perform Christmas classics on Dec. 26.
The artists, most of whom live in the neighborhood, will present holiday songs as well as some of their own music during their performances.
The series, the first of its kind in the neighborhood, is an initiative of A Better Jamaica, a local nonprofit which promotes cultural events in Jamaica.
“We want to bring holiday cheer to as many people as possible,” said Greg Mays of A Better Jamaica. “And Jamaica Center is a huge station with a lot of foot traffic.”
The artists will be performing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on the token booth level of the Jamaica Center subway station. The series will start Dec. 20 and end on Dec. 30 (there will be no performances on Dec. 25, 22 and 29).