In 1963, the civil rights movement arguably reached its peak with the March on Washington, and a hit album by James Brown, Live at the Apollo, made a Harlem theater into a household word. Fifty-five years later, the existence of Black Lives Matter both honors the achievements of ’63 and demonstrates how much further America has to go, while the Apollo Theater has only become more legendary. Fittingly, that uptown cornerstone will be the setting for a special concert on Saturday, Feb. 24, called Soundtrack ’63.
Devised by the Brooklyn-based duo of Chen Lo and Asanté Amin, a.k.a. Soul Science Lab, Soundtrack ’63 is billed as a “live musical documentary” aiming to reinterpret the music of that year, with emphasis on the role it played in the struggle for justice. Several guest stars, including singers Rhiannon Giddens and Leon Bridges and Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets, will join an 18-piece orchestra for a mix of jazz, hip-hop, soul and poetry accompanied by archival video footage and animation.