Five-time Grammy Award winner Lalah Hathaway is currently doubling as curator for the Los Angeles edition of Future x Sounds, a new multi-city music and arts series. Future x Sounds LA is set for Aug. 31 at Hollywood’s Ford Theatres. The show is designed to celebrate the city’s local creative community and underscore the role that music and education play in driving social change.
Future x Sounds LA’s performance lineup features Hathaway, legendary producer DJ Battlecat (Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre), Grammy-winning singer Anna Wise (Kendrick Lamar’s “These Walls”), musician/vocalist Justus West (Mac Miller, Vince Gill) and singer-songwriter-producer Gwen Bunn (Lamar, ScHoolboy Q) plus surprise guests. The collective #real musicrebels is a curation partner in the event, which will also showcase art installations. Co-founded by Hathaway, the collective is comprised of socially conscious artists pushing the artistic envelope. Ambassadors include Grammy winner Robert Glasper, Christian Scott and Shabaka Hutchings.
In a release announcing the event, Hathaway said, “I have studied and created with some of the West Coast’s finest — Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Quik, Thundercat, Terrace Martin and Anderson .Paak … some of the realest professors anyone could ever have. What I’ve realized about our music tribe in L.A. is that while our art and our beliefs have consistently fallen outside genre boxes and industry norms, our music is rooted in real skill and real soul. I am committed to continuing that education and acting as a voice, along with the next generation of artists, to show how the sounds of music can be the sounds of global change.”
Later this month, Hathaway will also open the Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2019 summer series in New York with the show Lalah Hathaway Sings Donny Hathaway (July 24). Her father, the late R&B/soul pioneer, is among The Recording Academy’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees.
The Future x Sounds series will officially kick off Aug. 17 at New York’s Marcus Garvey Park, saluting the 50th anniversary of the Harlem Cultural Festival, aka Black Woodstock. Done in partnership with Summerstage, the concert is curated by Neal Ludevig, a founder of the Harlem Cultural Festival, with musical direction by Igmar Thomas (Esperanza Spalding, Lauryn Hill). Talib Kweli will serve as co-host; performers include singer-songwriter Alice Smith. A Philadelphia edition is slated for Oct. 4 at World Live Café. Among its offerings is a jam session hosted by Grammy winner James Poyser of The Roots.
“We want to promote high-quality music without the imposition of the business and celebrate each city just for what makes it special,” said Future x Sounds founder and executive producer Angela Gil in a statement. “So we are giving the creative control to the people who know music and their scenes best: the artists.”