It was a Cinderella moment of sorts last month to watch Questlove, renowned DJ and member of the “legendary Roots crew,” receive the 2022 Academy Award for “Best Documentary Feature” for his directorial debut with last year’s Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
Now, it looks like his cinematic ode to the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival made such an impact that a team has come together to bring a reimagined version of the music fest back to Uptown New York next year!
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Billboard reports that Nikoa Evans, Yvonne McNair and Ambassador Digital Magazine EIC Musa Jackson have come together to become festival organizers for the upcoming event. Like the original, the reworked “Harlem Festival of Culture” will also take place at Mount Morris Park — it’s now called Marcus Garvey Park — and be hosted over multiple days. Jackson, who appears prominently in the doc and even attended the OG festival as a kid, revealed in a press release the inspiration behind reviving the cultural event by stating, “With this initiative, we want to create something that evokes that same sense of pride in our community that I felt on that special day in 1969. We want to authentically encapsulate the full scope: the energy, the music, the culture. We want people to understand that this festival is being built by the people who are from, live and work in this community.”
More on the Harlem Festival of Culture revival below, via Billboard:
“In summer 2023, HFC will pay tribute to the original fest held at Harlem’s Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) by presenting its inaugural multi-day outdoor music festival at the same locale. During the run-up to that occasion, HFC is kicking off a yearlong series of events beginning on April 15 with “A Harlem Jones” open mic night at the Museum of the City of New York in tribute to the 25th anniversary of the cult classic film ‘Love Jones.’ The month of May will mark HFC’s first live music performance at Marcus Garvey Park, with details to be announced.
Additional indoor and outdoor live music performances are also being planned throughout the year, featuring legacy and contemporary artists from R&B, soul, hip-hop, gospel, jazz, reggae and Latin. Rounding out the offerings will be various community events, moderated discussions (including the launch of HFC’s Cultural Conversation Series with Eliminating the Stigma of Mental Illness in the Black Community in May, Mental Health Awareness Month) and film screenings held at live music and dining venues throughout Harlem and neighboring communities.”
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This definitely will be worth the trek to Harlem to witness, similar to what many Black Americans across the nation did back in 1969 for the original festival. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the Harlem Festival of Culture, but check out the trailer for Summer Of Soul below in case you want to see what’s in store:
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