Where You Can Hear Live Music for Free in Jamaica This Weekend
QUEENS — If it’s summer in Jamaica, it must be time for the annual arts and music festival.
"It’s all free,” said Ashley Sanchez of Cultural Collaborative Jamaica, one of the event's organizers.
The two-day event will kick off Friday with zumba classes at Rufus King Park (4-4:30 p.m. and 5-5:30 p.m.). Additional fitness classes will be held on Saturday (11-11:30 a.m and 11:30-12 p.m.).
The festival's "Under the Stars" evening concert, featuring reggae, gospel, R&B and Latin jazz, will begin in the park at 6 p.m.
Among the artists performing this year during the four-hour concert are reggae singer Yanks, the Chosen Generation gospel choir and the Elite Marching Band, Sanchez said.
On Saturday, the festival will take over Jamaica Avenue, which will be closed to traffic between Parsons Boulevard and 170th Street, and where from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. dozens of local vendors and business owners will display their wares.
"Our goal is to link the art to economic development in southeast Queens," said Tyra Emerson, executive director for Cultural Collaborative Jamaica.
"Each year we are supporting and showcasing emerging artists, small entrepreneurs who are trying to create their own business and the many nonprofit services that are available in southeast Queens," she said.
A "kids block," located between 168th to 170th streets, will include rides, clowns, balloon sculptors, face painters and a rock climbing wall, the organizers said.
Twelve local artists will also present their work at a free exhibition at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and the Jamaica Multiplex Cinema will be offering discounted movie tickets for $7.50 each throughout Saturday.
The organizers said that every year the event, which is returning to the neighborhood for the 18th time, attracts about 185,000 people.
JAMS Under The Stars at Rufus King Park is scheduled for Friday August 1, between 6 and 10 p.m. The JAMS Festival will continue on Saturday, August 2, on Jamaica Avenue from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, go here.