Kennedy Center Hires First Hip-Hop Director
The Kennedy Center has named Simone Eccleston as its first Director of Hip-Hop. The decision follows a year after the Kennedy Center’s decision to bring on A Tribe Called Quest co-founder Q-Tip as their inaugural hip-hop artistic director in a push to incorporate more of the genre into the Kennedy Center. Eccleston comes from being director of programming at Harlem Stage in New York, and her new position will have her overseeing the contemporary music programming at the Kennedy Center in genres including blues, folk, world, and Latin music. Eccleston’s first day is March 13th.
Utopia Fest Line-up Comes with Extra Reveal
The great Earth-dwellers behind Utopia Fest have announced this year’s line-up. Dr. John + the Nite Trippers, Lettuce, Matthew Logan Vasquez, CAPYAC, Greyhounds, the Deer, and Antibalas are some of the stars studding this year’s line-up, but the line-up wasn’t this year’s only big reveal. This will be the last year Utopia Fest will take place at the beloved Four Sisters Ranch in Utopia, Texas. Founder and Producer Travis Sutherland said, “In 2018, we will begin the next phase in a place that will preserve the Utopian spirit and vibe, and will foster long-term sustainability. The core values and elements of the fest- quality affordability, interaction with nature, and intimacy- will never change.” Sutherland and crew are currently scouting new rural locations. This year, Utopia Fest takes place September 22-24.
Photo: Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX