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Enjoy wine tasting at Wave Hill; Parkchester Chorus presents spring concert

June and July evenings, enjoy this rare opportunity to experience Wave Hill’s lush gardens and incredible vistas of the Hudson as the sun sets. Relax, dream and share a New York State of Mind with friends, or explore the landscape on your own. Enjoy free New York State wine tastings; purchase delectable goods produced by local farmers and food purveyors—many of them vendors who have been featured recently in The New York Time and have an established presence at Brooklyn Flea. Reserve a Sunset Supper and dine on the Terrace of the Wave Hill Café. Enjoy the cash bar at Wave Hill House.

Enrich your evening with pastel workshops in June and poetry workshops in July. Capture Wave Hill’s dramatic vistas at twilight with the luminous colors of soft pastels, a favorite medium of plein-air artists. Create your own landscape pastel painting, with contemporary artist Wennie Huang. Classes are conducted outdoors. Materials provided. All levels welcome at this workshop. On July Wednesdays, join us for poetry workshops with contemporary poet Rachel M. Simon, who uses the natural beauty of Wave Hill and published poems for inspiration. Engage with the landscape, generate new poems and take part in some serious poetic play. For both beginning and experienced writers.

Pastel and poetry workshops run from 6:30 to 8 pm. For fees and required registration call (718) 549-3200, ext. 305.

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Come to the Parkchester Chorus’ 69th Annual Spring concert, On Wings of Song, on May 31, at 3 pm. You will enjoy hearing a beautiful and inspirational program and you will be supporting a chorus reflecting the true face of the Bronx. For Parkchester Chorus, it is their first official concert at First Presbyterian Church at Throggs Neck, their new home and as their Chorus in Residence.

The church is located at 3051 East Tremont Avenue. It is easily accessible from the driveway entry around the corner on Dudley Avenue. Tickets are only $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors and students. Note that First Presbyterian Church at Throggs Neck is located across from Lehman High School, is convenient to public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Parkchester Chorus thanks the parishioners of First Presbyterian Church at Throggs Neck for assisting in this transition.

Directed by Lorraine C. Nanko, chairperson of the Fine Arts Department at Cardinal Hayes High School, and accompanied by David Pikelny, the Parkchester Chorus presents a joyous celebration honoring Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s 200th anniversary. Selections from his great work, Elijah, as well as selections from other Mendelssohn works, demonstrate why this composer’s music is renowned. Featured guest musicians will also be part of this very special concert.

Sharing the 200th anniversary milestone is Franz Joseph Haydn. Parkchester Chorus pays tribute to Haydn as well as Mozart and American composer, Randall Thompson. Music has always brought us through life’s struggles. Parkchester Chorus honors this music with a series of great American spirituals and a medley of music of the 1930’s and demonstrates their ability to diversify thanks in great part to their talented and experienced director, Lorraine C. Nanko’s leadership. Parkchester Chorus is the oldest ecumenical chorus in the Bronx and is a member of The Bronx Council on the Arts.

For information and ticket reservations call (718) 320-2790 or (718) 828-8042 and leave a detailed message, visit Parkchester Chorus on the web: www.parkchesterchorus.org.

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NuyoRican School Original Poetry Jazz Ensemble, whose mission is to promote the creative literature of Puerto Rican writers in the United States and provide artistic opportunities to performing artists, will host a Memorial Concert/Dance Performance in honor of Bandleader, percussionist Manny Oquendo. Oquendo was known for his percussive strength and musical vision and helped define the Latin New York music scene from the late 1940s until today.

The dance performance will be held at 7:30 pm on Sat., May 30, at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, as part of NuyoRican School’s annual series: Access to Artists: A Celebration of Poetry, Theatre and Music.

With the passing of Oquendo on March 25, the Latino community felt a significant loss of the Latin music pioneer that helped shape its legacy for more than six decades and transformed the way Latin music was played and received around New York City and beyond. A self-taught musician, Oquendo was a senior statesman of the Latin percussion instruments of timbales and bongos before founding and co-directing the critically acclaimed Latin music band, Conjunto Libre for more than 35 years. His style was found in the roots of Afro Cuban bands beginning with New York City’s Machito and his Afro Cubans whose timbalero Ubaldo Nieto highly influential Manny’s style along with Orquesta Aragon’s Orestes Barona, never flashy or overstated. For additional influence and inspiration, Oquendo looked to vintage Cuban drummers such as bongocero, Ramón Castro, who played with the Orquesta Casino de la Playa, Conjunto Casino’s Yeyito Iglesias and Papa Kila (Antolín Suárez), who played with Arsenio Rodríguez and Sonora Matancera’s José Rosario Chávez (aka Manteca). Manny Oquendo was known by what he said on the timbal, not how many things he could do to the timbal. For Manny, it was not a race to see who could play the fastest, or who could do the most paradiddles, but who could accompany the music best. Manny Oquendo’s style was a school in and of itself. “The Timbalero must always keep the beat,” he emphasized in interviews. “Never overplay,” was his most consistent rule.

Please join us as the NuyoRican School Poetry Jazz Ensemble in partnership with Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture, the Bronx Council on the Arts, and friends celebrate the extraordinary life of Manny Oquendo and the wonderful work that transcends the artistic expression straddling two worlds - the past and the present, the island and the United States.

For more information call (718) 601-1163.

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The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, presents Masterpieces of European Painting from Museo de Arte de Ponce, opening on Sat., June 13, and on view through Sun., Sept. 6. This exhibition, which is the Bruce Museum’s major summer show, features selected works from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP), located in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Masterpieces of European Painting from Museo de Arte de Ponce is supported at the Bruce Museum by a Committee of Honor chaired by Juan Meyer, Arianne Faber Kolb, Leora Levy, and Honorary Chairs Alexandra and Steve Cohen, and the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, and a grant from the David T. Langrock Foundation.

The Museo de Arte de Ponce is acknowledged as one of the finest holdings of Old and Modern Masters in the Americas, counting over 3,000 works of art from every major school of European painting and sculpture. Inspired by a trip to Europe in 1950, Mr. Ferré, who was to become the future governor of Puerto Rico, began amassing an encyclopedic collection of Western art on the basis of aesthetic excellence.

An illustrated lecture by Bruce Museum executive director Peter C. Sutton on the art from the Museo de Arte de Ponce will be held on Wed., June 17, at 7:30 pm. The lecture is free to Museum members, $5 for non-members. Reservations are required; call the museum at (203)-869-0376.

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The Uptown Coffeehouse will be presenting folk singer/songwriter Rod Macdonald on Sun., June 7, 5 pm, at the Uptown Coffeehouse (Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture Building), 4450 Fieldston Road. Admission is $15. Bronx Cultural Cards are accepted. Call (718) 885-2955 for more information.

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