By Jonathan Sperling
Queens will again see trees of green. Red roses, too.
On Saturday afternoon, the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College will reprise its Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World Festival at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The fifth annual festival honors the legacy of Armstrong, the legendary trumpeter known as Satchmo who called Corona home for more than 20 years.
Several high-profile Queens musicians will take the stage, including hip-hop headliner Action Bronson.
Bronson, born Ariyan Arslani in Forest Hills, grew up working at his family’s restaurant, where he developed an appreciation for quality food reflected in his discography. Bronson spices his lyrics with food references on songs like “Roasted Bone Marrow,” “Pouches of Tuna” and “Jerk Chicken.” His latest album, Blue Chips 7000, received rave reviews.
The Soul Rebels, an eight-piece brass ensemble from New Orleans, Louisiana — the city usually associated with Armstrong’s career — will share the stage. The band brings and eclectic blend of soul, jazz, hip-hop and pop music to their performances
“We can’t wait to take NYC festival-goers on a thrilling ride from Queens to New Orleans and back, at the same time that we honor and celebrate the legacy of America’s greatest musical icon, Louis Armstrong,” the Kupferberg Center said in a statement. “For this year’s What a Wonderful World Festival, we honor Satchmo’s life in Corona by featuring one of Queens’ finest, Action Bronson, and we remember his birthplace by presenting the Soul Rebels, who will bring their New Orleans sound to the field at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.”
The main stage will also host performances by Abraham “Duke” Amayo’s Fu-Arkist-Ra, a political performance that combines traditional Chinese lion rhythms, Nigerian Afro-beat, funk and jazz. Amayo is perhaps best known for his role as a singer and composer for the Brooklyn-based Afrobeat ensemble, Antibalas. His performance at the Wonderful World Festival will showcase a vivid blend of Chinese and African folklore, dances and lessons.
In addition to the musical lineup, the festival will host several food trucks and activities, including a lecture by Ricky Riccardi, the Director of Research Collections at Louis Armstrong House Museum and author of What A Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years.
The open-air festival kicks off at 4 pm and is completely free to the public. However, attendees can purchase a limited number of VIP tickets for $25, allowing access to a private viewing area and premium restrooms.