Today’s news:

Bronx Arts Ensemble sets annual jazz concert

Emmy-winning Latin jazz flutist Dave Valentin will appear at the Bronx Arts Ensemble’s annual jazz concert, Sat., Feb. 28 at 8 pm at the Russian Mission to the UN Residency, Mosholu Avenue at W. 255 Street, in an exciting evening of pop, R&B, Brazilian music and Latin jazz. Appearing with Valentin will be members of his quintet - Bill O’Connell, piano, Lincoln Goines, bass, Robby Ameen, drums and Richie Flores, congas.

Performing a variety of ethnic and classical flutes, Dave Valentin’s playing combines a popular and accessible form of Brazilian, salsa, merengue, funk and jazz. A native of the south Bronx, Valentin began with bongos and congas, later focusing on the flute at the urging of his teacher, Hubert Laws. He has recorded 25 albums and has performed with such legendary performers as Tito Puente (as his music director), Machito, Herbie Mann, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Barreto, Eddie Palmieri and Johnny Pacheco. Voted “Best Jazz Flutist” in Jazzis Magazine for the past eight years, his most recent CDs, for Highnote Records, are World on a String (2005) and Come Fly With Me (2006). Mr. Valentin is a proud Bronx resident and active member of his community.

Tickets for the concert are $20; $15 for students and seniors. Bronx Cultural Card holders are offered a 20% discount.

For further information call (718) 601-7399.

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The City Island Theater Group will open its 10th anniversary season with the classic romantic comedy The Rainmaker. Written by N. Richard Nash, The Rainmaker is a thought-provoking play that explores the reliance upon dreams vs. the acceptance of reality. This classic American romance is a refreshingly heartfelt fable about a con man, a country girl, and the way that love can overcome cynicism in even the most tired of souls. Nick Sala, the production’s director and CITG’s president, promises that this production will make you believe in love and have faith in hope and the human spirit, which is something we all need in these current difficult times. The Raimmaker features City Island’s own Elizabeth Paldino as Lizzie Curry with CITG regulars John Garcia as Starbuck, and Matthieu Regney as Noah. New to the CITG stage are Scott Griffith as HC, Christopher Meindl as File, Torrey Rodriguez as Jim and City Islander John Schwam as the Sheriff. City Islander Maria Provenzano takes on the duty of Production Stage Manager.

The Rainmaker will be performed on Feb. 27 and 28, Mar.5, 6 and 7 at 8 pm and Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 at 3 pm. Note a Saturday matinee is available. Call (718) 885-3066 or email tickets@cityislandtheatergroup.com to reserve your tickets for this fantastic show.

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The City Island Museum, located at 190 Fordham Street, City Island, will present Sailing With Ted Turner on Sun., Feb. 15, at 3 pm.

In 1977, the 12-meter sloop Courageous, built on City Island and skippered by owner Ted Turner, successfully defended the America’s Cup. One of the crew members, Dick Sadler, recounts his experiences with slides and video, describing what it is like to be part of a team in the world’s most famous sailing race.

The museum is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is free; donations are welcome.

For more information call (718) 885-0507.

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The Lehman Chamber Players will perform trios by Haydn, Cerha, and Schubert on Wed., Feb. 18, at 12:30 pm. This performance, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Music Building Recital Hall. Seating is limited.

Performers include critically acclaimed cellist Andre Emelianoff, who is on the faculty of the Juilliard School; violinist Paul Roczek, professor of violin at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria; and pianist Diana Mittler-Battipaglia, professor of music and choral director at Lehman College.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death, the program will include the composer’s Trio in F Sharp Minor. Also on the program—a recently composed trio by the contemporary Austrian composer Friedrich Cerha, as well as Schubert’s Trio in E flat Major.

Lehman is located at Goulden Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard.

For more information call (718) 960-8247.

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The Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, NY, will present an Art and Ecology Exhibit from Mar. 13 to Apr. 25, with an opening reception and all-age art workshop on Fri., Mar. 13, from 6:30 to 8 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

From the time of Manifest Destiny to the age of global warming art has had a powerful impact on environmental reform. Paintings, photographs, and the environmental-themed coffee-table book were all instrumental in the creation of America’s national parks and in the passage of The Wilderness Act (1964), legislation that would guarantee the permanence of the nation’s wilderness preserves. Recently, the success of Al Gore’s book and film, An Inconvenient Truth — and the film’s capacity to alert and inform a diverse population to the problem of global warming — is a prime example of the way in which art can be used in aid of the environment. Today artists are working with scientists, marine biologists, botanists, urban planners and industrial engineers to discover creative solutions to ecological problems.

For more information call (914) 738-2525, ext. 113.

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In celebration of National Women’s History Month, Iona College will host a screening of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Best Documentary Award-Winning Pray the Devil Back to Hell on Mon., Mar. 2 at 6:30 pm in the Hynes Athletic Center.

This award winning documentary tells the remarkable but little-known story of a small band of unarmed women who risked their lives to bring change to Liberia. The film reconstructs the moment through interviews, archival footage and striking images of contemporary Liberia. This incredible story has earned additional awards at the Silverdocs (Witness Award), Jackson Hole Film Festival (Audience Choice: Documentary), and Traverse City Film Festival (Special Jury Prize: Non-fiction Filmmaking).

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The Bronx Council on the Arts and the Huntington Free Library present a free “lower-making crochet workshop on Sat., Feb. 21, from noon to 3 pm at the Huntington Free Library at 9 Westchester Square (next to the Apple Savings Bank). The workshop is open to the public and all are welcome.

A fun-filled, family workshop for all ages! Learn to crochet at this simple workshop. Create pretty crochet flowers to pin on a hat, coat or scarf and brighten up the winter with an early touch of spring. Use unique yarns, wire and paper. Knowledge of crochet is not required. This workshop is facilitated by textile artist Lisa Curran.

Admission to this workshop is free, but space is limited. RSVP by e-mailing lisa@bronxarts.org or calling (718) 829-7770.

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Join the Ethical Celebration on Sun., Feb. 15, 11 am at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, 4450 Fieldston Road. They will celebrate themselves and the society. This fun-filled gathering includes members, friends, as well as newcomers. All participants should bring some food to share. No reservation is needed and admission is free.

For more information call (718) 548-4445.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group