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  • Writer's pictureUrban Time

Julia Foulkes in Collaboration with Lincoln Center



Prof. Julia Foulkes has been working in collaboration with a group of artists and musicians on a project for the re-opening of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. Grounded in her extensive research on West Side Story, Lincoln Center, and the San Juan Hill neighborhood it replaced, Foulkes provided historical guidance for the collaboration. The main event features the performance of a new score by Trinidadian Trumpeter and Composer Etienne Charles titled San Juan Hill: A New York Story, to be performed with his band Creole Soul and the New York Philharmonic.

An immersive multimedia work, San Juan Hill: A New York Story transports the audience via music, visuals, and original first-person accounts of the history of the San Juan Hill neighborhood and the indigenous and immigrant communities that populated the land in and around where Lincoln Center resides. A multitude of musical elements—from Ragtime, Jazz, Stride piano, Swing, Blues, Mambo, Paseo, Antillean Waltz, Calypso, Funk, Disco, and Hip Hop—are woven together with historical film and present-day interviews to showcase the myriad musical styles and culture that were brought to New York by migrants from the south and the Caribbean.


In addition to Foulkes and Charles, the collaboration features a range of artists, including special guests Carl Hancock Rux, Elena Pinderhughes, DJ Logic, playwright Eljon Wardally, video artist Maya Cozier, graffiti/visual artist Wicked GF (Gary Fritz), and visual artist Bayete Ross Smith.


In the lead-up to the premiere, Charles, Lincoln Center, and the New York Philharmonic are partnering for a series of conversations and workshops that will explore themes such as gentrification, urban renewal, preservation and transformation of culture, community activism, as well as resilience in resistance to adversity, in collaboration with Weeksville Heritage Center, National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and others.


For more information and to purchase tickets for the event, see the Lincoln Center Web site.

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