Future x Sounds™, a new national concert series that launched in May of this year, has added new events on August 14th, 15th and 16th leading up to its kick-off concert in NYC that it is launching in tandem with Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Concerts.
The newly added events include two powerful conversations inspired by the theme of the Black Woodstock Anniversary and a VIP Opening Night leading up to the Anniversary Concert on August 17th at Marcus Garvey Park.
In addition to the new events, a number of special guests have been added to its concert on the 17th, which will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Harlem Cultural Festival (aka Black Woodstock), including Grammy Award-Winning Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy, Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles), Alice Smith, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Braxton Cook (Tom Misch). Also in attendance will be the lead guitarist and original member of Sly & The Family Stone, Freddie Stone.
Taking place in the summer of 1969, the original festival held a series of concerts in Mount Morris Park (now known as Marcus Garvey Park), to celebrate black pride, empowerment, music, culture, and featured such icons as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, B.B. King, Sly & the Family Stone, Jesse Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, The Staples Singers, Fifth Dimension, Mams Mabley, Hugh Masakela, among many others. Largely unknown, the event attracted nearly 50,000 attendees and took place at the exact same time as Woodstock Festival in Bethel, NY.
Curated by Neal Ludevig, a founder of the Harlem Arts Festival, the events taking part in the 50th Year Anniversary celebration will take a closer look at the performing artists from the original event that have a demonstrated history in activism in the area of civil rights.
The events include:
August 14th: Using the Sly and the Family Stone concert as a springboard for conversation, where the Black Panthers provided security because the police refused, this event will take a look at how the relationship between the community and local police has changed (or not changed) in the past 50 years, addressing relevant issues of today.
Panelists include former Black Panther, Academy Award Nominee and Filmmaker Jamal Joseph, Award-Winning Harlem Producer and former NYPD Detective Voza Rivers, an original member of the Last Poets Felipe Luciano, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. The event will be attended by original member and lead guitarist of Sly and the Family Stone, Freddie Stone.
August 15th: Taking place at Harlem Stage, this conversation will take a deeper dive into the Black Woodstock event, and specifically bring together artists that are using their form of art as activism from the event and beyond.
Panelists include some of the Black Woodstock Anniversary performers (Co-Host Talib Kweli, Musical Director Igmar Thomas, Grammy-Award Winning musician Keyon Harrold), along with legendary musician Juma Sultan (who performed at the original Woodstock with Jimi Hendrix), artist and activist Toni Blackman, and Executive Producer and Director of Partnerships at Global Citizen Victoria Fortune.
August 16th: Sponsored by Tito’s Vodka and taking place at Solomon and Kuff, a 5,000 Square Foot Rum Hall located in West Harlem, this event will bring together VIPs, performing artists, special (unannounced) guests, and the Future x Sounds team to kick-off the Future x Sounds concert series.
The event will feature a 2-hour premium open bar, DJ music, a Step & Repeat, and more. Proceeds from this event will go towards Notes to the Soul, a non-profit charity dedicated to inspiring positive social change through sustainable music education and empowerment programs to benefit the socio-economically and musically disenfranchised.
August 17th: Celebrating the 50th Year Anniversary of Black Woodstock at the original location in Marcus Garvey Park, the Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage event will feature original songs from the performing artists, as well as tributes to Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight, Nina Simone, Hugh Masakela, and Sly & the Family Stone.
The concert will be musically led by Igmar Thomas (Wyclef Jean, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Esperanza Spalding, Lauryn Hill and Nas), and will be co-hosted by Talib Kweli, Grammy Award-Winning Artist Cory Henry, Grammy-Nominated Alice Smith, Georgia Anne Muldrow (Erykah Badu, Madlib), Grammy Award-Winning trumpeter and singer Keyon Harrold (Common, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Rihanna) and Braxton Cook (Tom Misch, Christian Scott), and a number of special unannounced guests.
“These concerts are about highlighting the incredible things that are happening in our own backyards and in our own communities.”
Says NewYork Curator and Senior Associate Producer of Future x Sounds Neal Ludevig.
“It is incredibly important to learn and preserve the rich history embedded in our neighborhoods, use it as a catalyst for powerful conversations, and to support the culture and artistry that makes each city special.”
“Future x Sounds is the result of a collaborative effort between a like-minded community of producers, promoters, curators and iconic artists across the country,”
says Founder of Future x Sounds Angela Gil.
“Our goal is to connect the dots and celebrate creative diversity – we are excited to be part of the celebration of such a unique piece of New York ́s cultural history”.
The 50th Year Anniversary concert will be free and open to the public as part of City Parks Foundation’s summer programming, will be accompanied by a series of conversations around activism at Harlem Stage and the Schomburg Center, and is being supported in part by the Empire State Development Corporation. This event will also be the first Future x Sounds concert series, which will also take place in Los Angeles on August 31st (hosted by 5x Grammy Award Winner Lalah Hathaway) and in Philadelphia on Oct 4th (hosted by James Poyser of The Roots).
About Future x SoundsTM
Future x Sounds is a series of events that provide established award-winning, and socially conscious artists with a unique creative opportunity to share their vision, shift the spotlight onto their talented peers and celebrate their communities. These special, powerful live experiences invite artists, attendees, and society to question themselves and the world around them. Future x SoundsTM is an authentic window into a like-minded artistic global community that stands for the sounds of music and for the sounds of global change.
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents approximately 100 performances in 15-18 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin, world music, dance and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception 34 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. Capital One is the Title Sponsor of SummerStage. For more information, visit www.SummerStage.org.