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Questlove to Make Directorial Debut with Documentary on 1969's Harlem Cultural Festival

Questlove will be directing the upcoming documentary on 1969's Harlem Cultural Festival. Entitled Black Woodstock, the feature will be his directorial debut.

1969's Harlem Cultural Festival was a huge event with over 300,000 people packed into Harlem’s Mount Morris Park. At the time, the festival was largely overlooked by most mainstream publications, especially in relation to 1969's Woodstock festival.

The documentary will make use of 40 hours of never-before-seen footage shot by Hal Tulchin, which has been in storage for half a century. Some performances caught on film include Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone, B.B. King, the Staple Singers, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.

“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 Roots drummer said in a statement. "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."

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Article image: Questlove at the Washington, D.C. March for Science in 2017. (Hillel Steinberg [CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr.)

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania