A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip will kick off the Kennedy Center’s inaugural hip-hop season alongside jazz pianist Jason Moran.
The performance takes place on Friday, October 6, and is expected to last 75 minutes as Q-Tip and Moran “explore contemporary sounds at the crossroads of their respective genres in this one-night-only collaborative concert.” The performance is sold out but a free dance party presented by DJ Rich Medina and The Marksmen will be taking place afterward.
Although the Kennedy Center has been presenting hip-hop for over 15 years it has never been a part of its institutional programming until now. The performing arts center tapped Q-Tip to serve as its first artistic director of hip-hop culture and Simone Eccleston as director of hip-hop culture and contemporary music.
“Goal number one is to provide a home for the culture: artists, organizations, and individuals interested in presenting hip-hop related programs,” Eccleston said in an interview with DCist. “One of the unique spaces we occupy is being able to provide a multi-faceted view. We can show hip-hop’s contribution to artistic areas across the board.”
“No one anticipated how hip-hop would go from communities in The Bronx to become a worldwide phenomenon,” she added. “There is no space or place that hip-hop hasn’t affected.”
The series already features a number of forthcoming events including a B-boy and B-girl competition, a Wild Style film screening and discussion in honor of its 35th anniversary, and a live performance inspired by Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ Between the World and Me.