Barbadian steel drummer brings Caribbean melodies to Queens

Barbadian steel drummer brings Caribbean melodies to Queens

Photo courtesy: David Powell

(Flushing, N.Y.)— Flushing Town Hall’s Mini-Global Mashup series continues with its upcoming performance on November 17 at 7 p.m. of “Barbados Meets USA African American Spirituals,” featuring Barbadian steel drummer Adrian Clarke accompanied by keyboardist Richard Henry, and American jazz bassist Hilliard Greene.

Curated by acclaimed trumpeter and composer Frank London of The Klezmatics, the Mini-Global Mashup series brings two different global music artists together each month, along with accompanists, for an afternoon of music, conversation, and sonic exploration. Each artist will play their own set reflecting their respective sounds and cultures, before “mashing up” in a third, collaborative set. The program closes with a post-concert discussion with the artists and audience.

Photo Courtesy of Flushing Town Hall

“Situated in the World’s Borough, Flushing Town Hall is proud to embrace the cultural diversity around us. We are thrilled to continue our Mini-Global Mashup series this November with Adrian Clarke, Richard Henry, and Hilliard Greene as they immerse listeners in Barbadian and African American musical traditions,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. “Guests may learn something new from the experience, or feel right at home as their own culture is celebrated.”

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Adrian Clarke is a former tennis player who started playing the steel drums one year when he was visiting Trinidad. Always enamored of the instrument, he bought himself one and took it back to Barbados, where he was born, and at the time, residing. As he was teaching himself to play, someone heard him and invited him to join their band, the Soundtech Steel Orchestra. This was where he learned the fundamentals. Adrian lives in New York and has been playing private and public events for years. He plays often for the Barbados Tourism Authority, the Barbados Consulate, and Barbados and Caribbean organizations. He has also opened events for Barbadian calypsonians in New York. A soloist, Adrian played for the Jamaican jazz legend Monty Alexander and recorded with the late Dr Irving Burgie, co-writer of the Harry Belafonte hits “Day-o,” “Jamaica Farewell,” “Island in the Sun,” and others. While he enjoys playing all genres of music, Adrian especially loves playing the calypsos of Lord Kitchener, whom he calls a genius of steelpan melodies.

Adrian Clark will be accompanied by keyboardist Richard Henry.

Hilliard Greene has been studying music for more than 50 years and has been playing professionally for 35+ years. His emphasis is in classical, jazz, rock, blues, R&B, and tango, as well as the music of other continents and U.S. regions, and solo performances. Greene studied at the University of Northern Iowa and at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been teaching private students and classes for over 25 years. He is currently a faculty member at the Collective in New York City, and a 2020 recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO Award (Bronx Recognizes Its Own). He performs widely in the New York City area, including at Carnegie Hall, as well as in major cities throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, the West Indies, and South America. Greene performed and recorded with Jimmy Scott for over 20 years, serving as his Musical Director from 1995 to 2013. Greene was also Cecil Taylor’s Concert Master for his group “Phtongos.” He was in residence at Minton’s a.k.a. legendary Minton’s Playhouse as the house bassist. Greene recently the In&Out Band, a trio using jazz standards as a vehicle for free improvisation. He is also co-leader of the classical crossover ensemble, ZigZag Quartet, with a co-produced self-titled ZigZag Quartet CD. He produced three CDs with his own ensemble The Jazz Expressions, a solo bass CD entitled “Alone,” and a recording featuring Negro Spirituals related to the Underground Railroad called Spirituals released through Unseen Rain.

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Photo Courtesy of Flushing Town Hall

Tickets to the show are $15 General Admission/ $12 Members, Seniors, & Students w/ID.

For the venue’s Fall 2023 schedule, visit

For those unable to attend events in person, Flushing Town Hall has launched Culture Stream. Subscriptions start at $5 per month.

COVID Policy:

Flushing Town Hall no longer requires visitors or performers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19; wearing a mask is optional but recommended. For more details, please visit

Support Global Arts with a Gift Today!

All gifts of $50 or more give you exclusive Flushing Town Hall Circle of Friends membership with benefits including a Smithsonian membership, ticket discounts, and more! Donations in any amount are appreciated to support the artists and the nonprofit cultural organization as they continue to provide programming and entertainment across New York and the world.

Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization and receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; The City of New York, Mayor Eric Adams; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Laurie Cumbo; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; The New York City Council, Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and New York City Council Members Sandra Ung, Tiffany Caban, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Vickie Paladino, Lynn Schulman, and Julie Won; Howard Gilman Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation, Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Lily Auchincloss Foundation; Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

To view current donor lists, please visit

About Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.

Flushing Town Hall is a proud member of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), a collective of 34 nonprofit museums, performing arts centers, historical societies, zoos, and botanical gardens across all five boroughs with a distinct private-public partnership with the City of New York and a commitment to serving all New Yorkers.

Land Acknowledgement:

Flushing Town Hall acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Matinecock People, one of the original tribes of New York, and the first people of Flushing, Queens. The Matinecock continue to live and work on this land to this day. Flushing Town Hall honors their elders who have stewarded this land throughout generations.

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