On Oct. 8, the new David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center will open with the premiere of “San Juan Hill: A New York Story.” A mix of music and strong visuals come together to tell the story of the dynamic neighborhood of old where Lincoln Center now sits. Leading up to the premiere is a series of programs at the David Rubenstein Atrium that dig deep into the soul of San Juan Hill, a melting pot of Indigenous, Caribbean, and European denizens out of which grew a rich cultural music legacy that includes such greats as Thelonious Monk and Benny Carter that has until now, been hidden. See below for the programming schedule and details.

San Juan Hill Day; Connecting at the Seams 

Thu, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. 

David Rubenstein Atrium 


Once home to the largest Black community in New York City and later a significant Puerto Rican population, San Juan Hill was demolished between the 1940s and 1950s as part of the “urban renewal” plan that created the Lincoln Center campus and other major developments. While many families were displaced to other neighborhoods in New York City and beyond, a sizable number of residents moved to the nearby Amsterdam Houses. This multi-part celebration of the inheritors of San Juan Hill’s history brings Amsterdam Houses’ elder residents to the Atrium to publicly build creative oral histories in collaboration with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances. Following an afternoon brainstorming session, SLMDances will perform these new works with emcee support from Lincoln Center’s inaugural poet-in-residence, Mahogany L. Browne. 

(Presented in collaboration with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances) 

DJ Logic 

Fri, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. 

David Rubenstein Atrium 


Bronx-born champion of the city’s musical memory, DJ Logic is a specialist in connecting the threads between NYC’s rock, jazz and rap traditions. He is currently collaborating with the trumpeter and composer Etienne Charles on a Lincoln Center-commissioned work inspired by the San Juan Hill story that will reopen the David Geffen Hall when it is premiered in October in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic. At this celebratory dance party, DJ Logic will continue tying art to location for a nonstop hip hop jam with selected music from New York artists only. Come out and dance to hits and deep cuts from emcees and DJs representing all five boroughs to the fullest! 

Is This Land Our Land? 

Sat, Oct. 1 at Weeksville Heritage Center & Mon, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m.  

David Rubenstein Atrium 


The Unanswered Questions is a conversation series presented in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic and John Jay College of Criminal Justice exploring complex social topics raised by the Orchestra’s programming. The series’ season begins with Is This Land Our Land? —a discussion on the history of the San Juan Hill and Weeksville neighborhoods, NYC communities of color that thrived with culture and tradition but were systematically dismantled, leaving behind a heritage of displacement and erasure that echoes to the present day. Weeksville Heritage Center’s President Dr. Raymond Codrington moderates a conversation with SUNY Binghamton professor and scholar Dr. Jennifer Lynn Stoever, and Etienne Charles—the performer and composer whose Lincoln Center-commissioned work inspired by the San Juan Hill story will reopen David Geffen Hall when it is premiered in October in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic.Visit www.lincolncenter.org/venue/david-geffen-hall/san-juan-hill-773 for more info.

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1 Comment

  1. What about the Tenderloin Neighborhood the birth the New York City Clef Club Orchestra, Inc., featuring the likes of James Reese Europe, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson, Will H. Dixon, J. Rosamond Johnson, Will Marion Cook, Ernest Hogan, Bert A. Williams and George Walker. The Marshall hotel owned by Jimmy Marshall was their central meeting place until they established their own musicians club. Reference: Black Manhattan by James Weldon Johnson circa 1930 and The Product of Our Souls by David Gilbert

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