”Summer of Soul” with Ahmir Questlove Thompson


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Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson joins us to talk about his Oscar-shortlisted “Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)”. In the summer of 1969, a music festival took place in New York that attracted over 300,000 people. Featuring some of the most incredible artists of that — or any — era, it caught the cultural wave of the moment. No, it wasn’t Woodstock. And, until very recently, practically nobody knew it ever took place. Featuring stunning, previously unseen archival performance footage and incorporating an array of enthralling interviews, game-changing debut documentary “Summer of Soul” is a joyful celebration of the Harlem Cultural Festival and a long-delayed corrective to an egregious example of Black erasure. Winner of both the 2021 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary. “Summer of Love” is Oscar shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature. Currently available for streaming on Hulu.

Fresh off the set of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where he serves as Musical Director, Questlove joined Mike and Ken for a spellbinding conversation, showcasing his unique skills as a storyteller. How is it that even a musical aficionado of Questlove’s renown was skeptical that such a concert ever happened? What was his initial reaction to seeing this long-forgotten footage? How did he crack the code of doing justice to the towering musical performances happening on stage and conveying the broader social and political movements happening off it? What inspired him to start the film with Stevie Wonder on drums? And, what about David Ruffin’s sartorial choices? Tune in to this episode of Top Docs for answers to these questions and a whole lot more. Questlove in conversation is its own sublime music set. Headphones not included.

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