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Steve McQueen showcases the Soundtrack of America

PICTURED: Steve McQueen

HE’S MOST widely known for his directorial work in the film world but now Steve McQueen is showcasing his love of music on the stage.

McQueen’s five-night concert series has opened up The Shed, the first new major arts space to open in New York in decades.

The concerts celebrate the impact of African American music on contemporary culture and feature performances from a range of “early career” musicians.

Speaking of his choice to showcase artists that are not widely known, McQueen told Forbes: “You could do the greatest hits of people from the past, but it’s about the future and continuing the story.

“What we asked of them was to place themselves within the family tree, and to put themselves in the narrative of African American music.”

While the series is the brainchild of McQueen, Quincy Jones has collaborated with the Widows director on the performances as musical director.

In a statement, The Shed said: “Soundtrack traces a musical ‘family tree’ of spirituals and blues, jazz and gospel, R&B, rock and roll, house, hip hop, and trap that has inspired a new generation of artists who continue to develop that legacy.”

The inspiration for McQueen’s Soundtrack to America can be traced back to when he was working on his Oscar-winning film 12 Years A Slave.

The artist and director discovered that he was unable to find an “institution of significance” devoted to African American music, Forbes reported.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that McQueen was keen to open The Shed with a number of shows that explored the different genres that have grown and flourished in America, their relationship with each other and the phenomenal impact they have had around the world.

Alex Poots, the CEO and artistic director, told Forbes: “African American music is probably the most influential art form of the past one hundred years – nothing’s had more impact and more influence around the world than that music.”

Soundtrack of America concludes on April 14.

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