Riddim Section is Here: Learn More About The Music Series

  • December 1, 2023

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning has announced that Riddim Section, a free monthly concert series that celebrates and uplifts the music of the Diaspora, will return to the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (153-10 Jamaica Avenue) 2024. All concerts take place at 8pm on the last Wednesday of the month from February to June 2024. Riddim Section will culminate in July 2024 with the Riddim Festival—a free outdoor concert open to all in Southeast Queens. 

Created by JCAL Artistic Director Courtney Ffrench, Riddim Section draws life directly from the cultures across Queens, with musicians and bands exploring such genres as Afrobeat, Calypso, Chutney, Kompa, Reggae, R&B, and more. Riddim Section kicks off Feb. 28 as part of Black History Month with a special performance by South African bass player Bakithi Kumalo. 

Steven Kroon, a JCAL fan favorite, will return to Riddim Section in 2024 not only as a performer but as the Curator of the entire series. Through Kroon’s curation, Riddim Section will present a diverse range of performers, from Haitian guitarist Chardavoine to Puerto Rican folkloric music by Nelson Mathew Gonzales to a Reggae/Calypso performance by Dion Parson. Kroon’s own legendary sextet blends Jazz with Afro Cuban and Brazilian sounds. 

The full schedule of performers includes: 

Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Bakithi Kumalo 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024: Chardavoine 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024: Steven Kroon 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024: Nelson Matthew Gonzales 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024: Dion Parson 

“This Riddim Section will be a musical journey that speaks through the rhythms of our Ancestors!” Curator Steven Kroon says. 

“Music is from the people, by the people, and for the people. Its rhythm reaches into our souls and makes our heart listen and our ears taste what we desperately want to see.” Says Courtney Ffrench Artistic Director.