Etienne Charles—”San Juan Hill: A New York Story”

Etienne Charles and his band Creole Soul will be performing with the New York Philharmonic to premiere his newest composition “San Juan Hill: A New York Story” (commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; co-presented by Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic) at Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall (Lincoln Center) on October 8, 2:00pm and 8:00pm.

Description: The anticipated reopening of David Geffen Hall kicks off with a pair of concerts featuring Etienne Charles’ new work, San Juan Hill: A New York Story—performed by Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

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 his band, Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, Charles is working with a range of artists and academics on this commission, including special guests Carl Hancock Rux, Elena Pinderhughes, DJ Logic, and collaborating with playwright Eljon Wardally, video artist Maya Cozier, graffiti/visual artist Wicked GF (Gary Fritz), visual artist Bayete Ross Smith, and historian Julia Foulkes, among others.

San Juan Hill: A New York Story combines the past with the present, laying the foundation for our community to build a new future for Lincoln Center. In the leadup to the premiere, Charles, Lincoln Center, and the New York Philharmonic are partnering for a series of conversations and workshops that will explore the preservation and transformation of culture, gentrification, community activism, as well as resilience in resistance to adversity, in collaboration with Weeksville Heritage Center, National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and others.

Etienne Charles, Composer/Trumpet/Percussion
CREOLE SOUL: Sullivan Fortner, Piano; Ben Williams, Bass; John Davis, Drums; Alex Wintz, Guitar; Godwin Louis, Saxophone; Elena Pinderhughes, Flute; DJ Logic, Turntables

Maya Cozier, Film Director; Bayete Ross Smith, 3D Media Artist; Eljon Wardally, Narrative/ Playwright; Hollis King, Photography; Carl Hancock Rux, Spoken Word; Wicked GF (Gary Fritz), Grafitti Artist; Julia Foulkes, Historian

[Photo (cropped above) by Hollis King]

For more information, see and

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