Mona’s Hot Five With Queen Esther and Kotoko Brass

Popular “Global Mashup” Concert Series Continues When Ghana and New Orleans Meet Onstage

— Kotoko Brass and Mona’s Hot Five with Queens Esther come together in an exciting mashup of cultures —

Flushing Town Hall’s most popular series, the Global Mashups, will continue with the August 19th concert, Ghana Meets New Orleans, featuring West African-inspired dance band Kotoko Brass and New Orleans-style jazz band Mona’s Hot Five with Queen Esther. 

The Global Mashup concert series presents a different pairing of artists each month. The show starts with dance lessons, then both ensembles play a set, showcasing traditional music from their distinct countries and cultures, and then the performers jam together for a third collaborative and spontaneous set—to the delight of audiences.

“We are ecstatic to have the Global Mashups continue,” says Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall Executive & Artistic Director. “Each concert presents our audience members with the opportunity to enjoy the musical offerings of unique cultures, and this concert is no different. Kotoko Brasds and Mona’s Hot Five with Queen Esther will put on a great concert that you won’t want to miss.”

Inspired by the traditional drum rhythms of Ghana, Kotoko Brass has created a unique, joyful, and improvisational style of West African dance music described by The Boston Globe as “propulsive, infectious party music.” The drums provide the heart and soul of Kotoko Brass,  merging syncopated African percussion polyrhythms with hard-hitting dance grooves on the drumset. The horns blend the traditional sounds of New Orleans with the famous West African brass band sound heard from Ghana to Nigeria. A celebratory and energetic synthesis of music, people, and cultures worldwide, Kotoko Brass features musicians from Ghana, Antigua, Japan, and the United States playing together in unity. Kotoko Brass has shared the stage with Angelique Kidjo, Red Baraat, Femi Kuti, The California Honeydrops, Vieux Farka Toure, Innov Gnawa, Take 6, The Boston Pops, Rubblebucket, and more. 

Mona’s Hot Five with Queen Esther, led by clarinetist Dennis Lichtman, has been the house band for the famed Tuesday night jazz and swing jam sessions at New York City’s famous Mona’s Bar since 2007.

After a modest beginning, the sessions grew to become the central meeting point in town for younger musicians interested in early-era jazz, pros cutting loose after their evening gigs, new musicians in town, touring acts passing through, jazz veterans, Grammy winners, college music students, and a diverse, packed house of onlookers. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the weekly East Village happening.

Mona’s Hot Five, with Lichtman at the helm, has appeared in countless concerts and festivals outside of Mona’s, including two appearances on Good Morning America, features on NBC’s “The Blacklist” and HBO’s “The Plot Against America,” and a co-hosting role in the “Jam Session of the Millennium” twice at Symphony Space.

Described as “…the unknown queen of Americana…” (Feedback, Norway), “..a Black Lucinda Williams…” and a “…brutal, original, explosive singer…” (Vanity Fair, Spain), Queen Esther’s creative output musically is the culmination of several critical Southern elements, not the least of which are years of recording and touring internationally as frontwoman for several projects with her mentor, harmolodic guitar icon James “Blood” Ulmer, including a stint in his seminal band Odyssey. Raised in Atlanta, GA, and embedded in Charleston, SC’s Lowcountry – a region with African traditions and Black folkways that span centuries and constantly inform her work – Queen Esther uses her Southern roots as a touchstone to explore cultural mores in America, deconstructing well-worn historical narratives while creating a reclamation-driven soundscape.


SAT., AUG. 19, 2023, 7 PM

Global Mashup: Morocco Meets The Balkans

In-Person Tickets: $20/$15 Members, Seniors, Students w/ ID; Day of the Show: $25; Virtual: $5Flushing Town Hall’s Global Mashup concert series continues throughout the summer. This concert will feature a special collaboration between West African dance band Kotoko Brass and New Orleans-style jazz band Mona’s Hot Five With Queen Esther. 

Tickets to Global Mashup: Ghana Meets New Orleans are $20 for general admission, $15 for members, seniors, and students, and $25 on the day of the show. To purchase tickets, visit: ​​

For the venue’s full schedule of 2022 Spring and Summer events, visit:

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

COVID Policy: 

Although, as of March 7, 2022, New York City has relaxed its COVID policies for indoor arts and entertainment events, Flushing Town Hall will maintain its prior policy for the safety of its audiences, artists, and staff. This policy will remain in effect until further notice: Flushing Town Hall requires all visitors, performers, and staff to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with matching identification. Additionally, masks will be required at all times. For more details on Flushing Town Hall’s Covid-safety measures and vaccine requirements, 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 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 Jessica Won; Howard Gilman Foundation, Guru Krupa 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.