Music Is History: An Evening with Questlove
Date and Time:
Oct 14 2021 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).

This event is starting one hour later (8:00 PM CT) than is typical for FAN events. Please make a note of it.



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Drummer, DJ, producer, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and member of The Roots

Hanif Abdurraqib

Poet, essayist, and cultural critic

Music Is History: An Evening with Questlove

American History | Art | Civil Rights | Creativity | Culture | History | Identity | Innovation | Memoir | Music | Race | Sociology | Storytelling | Youth

In Music Is History, bestselling author and Sundance award-winning director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson harnesses his encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and his deep curiosity about history to examine America over the past fifty years. He observes, “I think of the America we live in as a series of songs.”

Music Is History focuses on the years 1971 to the present, not only the country’s most complex and rewarding half-century when it comes to the ways that pop culture and culturally diverse history intersect and interact, but also the years that overlap with Questlove’s own life. Music Is History moves fluidly from the personal to the political, examining events closely and critically, to unpeel and uncover previously unseen dimensions, and encouraging readers to do the same. Whether he is exploring how Black identity reshaped itself during the blaxploitation era, analyzing the assembly-line nature of disco and its hostility to Black genius, or remembering his own youth as a pop fan and what it taught him about America, Questlove finds the hidden connections in the American tapestry.

Complete with playlists organized around personal, playful themes that touch on everything from the relationship of hip-hop to music’s past to the secret ingredient in all funk songs, Music Is History is filled with and informed by Questlove’s preferences, perspectives, and particularities. It feels like both a popular history of contemporary America and a conversation with one of music’s most influential and unique voices.

Drummer, DJ, producer, director, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and member of The Roots – Questlove is the unmistakable heartbeat of Philadelphia’s most influential hip-hop group. He is the Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where his beloved Roots crew serves as house band. Beyond that, this 5-time GRAMMY Award-winning musician’s indisputable reputation has landed him musical directing positions with everyone from D’Angelo to Jay-Z. Questlove has also released multiple books including the New York Times bestsellers Mo’ Meta Blues and Creative Quest, GRAMMY nominated audio book Creative Quest, Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation, James Beard Award nominated somethingtofoodabout and, most recently, Mixtape Potluck.

Questlove will be in conversation with Hanif Abdurraqib, a New York Times bestselling poet, essayist, and cultural critic. Mr. Abdurraqib was recently named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. His latest book, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, has been long-listed for the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is also the host of the Sonos podcast “Object of Sound.”

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available later on our website and YouTube channel.


BONUS BOOK GIVEAWAY! We are giving away copies of Music Is History to attendees selected at random! All details on the webinar registration page.