Questlove to make his directorial debut with ‘Black Woodstock’

US musician Questlove at the premiere of ‘Shaft’ at AMC Lincoln Square June 10, 2019 in New York City. — AFP
US musician Questlove at the premiere of ‘Shaft’ at AMC Lincoln Square June 10, 2019 in New York City. — AFP

LOS ANGELES, Dec 3 — The musician, born Ahmir Thompson, will direct a forthcoming documentary on the historical Harlem Cultural Festival, which was commonly referred to as “Black Woodstock.”

Although iterations of the Harlem Cultural Festival were also held in 1967 and 1968, the 1969 edition of the festival attracted an unprecedented level of talent such as Nina Simone and Stevie Wonder.

At the time, more than 300,000 people gathered in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park to watch performances by the likes of B.B. King, Abbey Lincoln, Hugh Maseka, the 5th Dimension as well as Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Politicians Robert Francis Kennedy and John Lindsay as well as civil right leaders Jesse Jackson and Marcus Garvey Jr. also attended the outdoor event, which was held a year after the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Despite this overwhelming success, the Harlem Cultural Festival received little mainstream media coverage as it was outshone by Woodstock, which took place 100 miles north during the same summer.

Fifty years later, the legacy of the legendary music festival will be explored in the forthcoming documentary Black Woodstock.

“I am truly excited to help bring the passion, the story and the music of the Harlem Cultural Festival to audiences around the world. The performances are extraordinary. I was stunned when I saw the lost footage for the first time. It’s incredible to look at 50 years of history that’s never been told, and I’m eager and humbled to tell that story,” director Questlove said in a statement.

The film will notably feature more than 40 hours of never-before-seen footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, originally shot by late television producer Hal Tulchin.

Black Woodstock is one of numerous projects that Questlove is working on this year.

The musician was recently announced as a co-producer on an upcoming Broadway musical based on iconic music variety programme Soul Train.

Last October, Questlove also released his new Mixtape Potluck, which he described as a “dinner party for friends, their recipes, and the songs they inspire.”



& here it is: book number 1,2,3,fo,FiF!!” My first cookbook (drumroll please!) #MixtapePotluck I mixed together my passion for music & food by bringing together over 50 of my pals– a mix of chefs, entertainers, artists, thought leaders & musicians – for the ultimate potluck party. They brought the recipes. I brought the music by pairing each personality with what I think best reflects them. Together we vibe with good food and music and highlight the beautiful synergies between the two. Special s/o to @MarthaStewart for the foreword, you could say she knows a little something about potlucks 🙃🙃🙃 Photography by @marcus.xoxo. Cover by @baronvonfancy and @jeanette_birdy. Out on Oct. 15th via @abramsbooks. Pre-order your copy today where books are sold. Link in Bio. #QuestLovesFood Special guest contributors include: #AmyPoehler Maya Rudolph @princesstagramslam Lilly Singh @iisuperwomanii Padma Lakshmi @padmalakshmi Zooey Deschanel @zooeydeschanel Janina Gavankar @janina Natalie Portman @natalieportman Fred Armisen @sordociego Flynn McGarry @diningwithflynn Marisa Tomei @MarisaTomei Tom Sachs @tomsachs Carla Hall @carlaphall Shep Gordon @supermenschshep Ardenia Brown @chefbutta1 Jessica Seinfeld @jessseinfeld Ashley Graham @ashleygraham Tariq Trotter @blackthought Gabrielle Union @gabunion Melody Eshani @melodyehsani Yvonne Orji @yvonneorji Kether Donohue @ketherdonohue Thelma Golden @thelmagolden Chris Fischer #ChrisFischer Jarobi White @jarobiwhite Dominique Ansel @dominiqueansel Q Tip @qtiptheabstract Jimmy Fallon @jimmyfallon Kwame Onwuachi @chefkwameonwuachi & so so so much more. Really had fun organizing this one! Info in LANK!

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This genre-bending cookbook features a foreword by Martha Stewart as well as contributions from Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler, Natalie Portman, Jimmy Fallon, Stanley Tucci and more. — AFP-Relaxnews

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