Queens People of the Week: Music Venue and Program Director Set a New Tone

The latest Queens People of the Week are Sam Hillmer and music venue Trans Pecos. NY1’s Agnes Chung filed this story.

When Jamal Vaughn is rapping on stage as Marley G he says it helps him overcome his challenges.

"I'll be good on the stage. I would be good, in front of the like whole crowd," Vaughn said.

His group Zulu P is composed of adults with special needs, and they practice here at the music venue Trans Pecos for free. Programming Director Sam Hillmer says since most of the venue's events are at night. They open up their space during the day to local groups that serve seniors, people learning English and people with disabilities.

"We are here in this community and we want to sure that the value that is here in our space is shared across everybody in the community," said Hillmer.

Trans Pecos opened up more than a year ago. The Zulu P members who have been performing together for about five years say they appreciate the opportunity to practice in the professional venue.

"The place is good to rehearse and have equipment," said singer Andrina Martinez.

On top of providing a sound system, Hillmer says he also puts together evening performance showcases for his daytime artists.

"It's a fun way of people showing off their skills and to share their talents that they have," said Hillmer.

Hillmer says he's always looking to partner up with more organizations to take advantage of the space. And he hopes other art venues follow his lead.

"There's schools and churches and other kinds of nonprofits that could make use of a professional performance setting," said Hillmer.

And for setting a new tone on how music venues can be used, Sam Hillmer and those at Trans Pecos are our Queens People of the Week.

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