Harlem Festival of Culture Appoints Grammy Award-Winning Musician Wyclef Jean in Key Role as Chair of its Music Advisory Board

Harlem Festival of Culture Appoints Grammy Award-Winning Musician Wyclef Jean in Key Role as Chair of its Music Advisory Board

Harlem Festival of Culture (HFC), the modern-day reimagining of the groundbreaking Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969, announced that Grammy Award-winning rapper, musician and actor Wyclef Jean has been appointed Chair to the Music Advisory Board for the organization.

In this new role, Jean will advise executive leadership and assist in engaging the artist community to galvanize support around the Festival.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome Wyclef as Chair of the Music Advisory Board! Of course, we know
that music and artists are integral to the success of this Festival. As we start to build and actualize what
the Festival will look like, we recognize that it is imperative that we have artists and creatives at the
table who believe in what we’re doing and who can help broaden support for the Festival,” said HFC
Co-Founder and Technical and Talent Producer Yvonne McNair.

“As one of the most important artists of our generation, Wyclef is a true visionary and stands as one of the most trusted and respected voices in music.”

“We are grateful to have him lend his expertise and his support for the Harlem Festival of Culture and look forward to working together with him to spread the word throughout the industry and to the artist community.”

“I am thrilled to join HFC as Chair to their Music Advisory Board. On a personal note, Harlem has
always held a special place in my heart as I have performed there very early in my career and
throughout,” said Jean.

“As a creative who is also an entrepreneur, I’m all about creating opportunities for creatives and professionals in our community and when I heard about this reimagining of what was such a
seminal milestone in Black creativity and Black music, I knew I wanted to be involved in some way.”

“And in talking to Yvonne about what their vision is, I am 100% positive that the Harlem Festival of Culture has so much potential to become a formidable fixture in the Festival space and the ultimate platform to celebrate the Culture and the Black American experience.”

“I look forward to working with them on this.”

(Image: Left Wyclef Jean, Right Larry Miller / Courtesy of Harlem Festival of Culture)

The addition of Wyclef Jean continues HFC’s expansion of its executive team including the recent
announcements of Jordan Brand Chairman and Best-selling Author Larry Miller as strategic advisor
and music legend and business mogul Michael L. Bivins as creative director.

Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning and Golden Globe and Emmy nominated Wyclef Jean has
created music — both as a solo superstar and as founder and guiding member of the Fugees — that has
been a consistent and powerful, pop cultural force for over two decades. In 1996, the Fugees released
their monumental album The Score. Since then, Wyclef has released eight albums as a solo artist that
have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide, including his 1997 debut The Carnival and 2000’s The Eclectic: 2 Sides II a Book.

In March 2019 Wyclef released Wyclef Goes Back to School, a collaboration with students he met while touring the United States and visiting colleges across the country. Additionally, Netflix announced the production of an untitled animated project based on the real-life story of Wyclef’s childhood in Haiti, which will be co-produced by Greg Silverman’s company Stampede and have Jean as the film’s composer.

The year 2020 also found Wyclef venturing into the podcast industry as the host of RunThatBack, a one of a kind weekly show for music lovers of any type, where Wyclef interviews heavy hitters from all walks of life,
from music, to sports, politics, and beyond. He also teamed up with Google in the fall of 2020 to create a
jingle for their #BlackOwnedFriday campaign to promote and support shopping black-owned businesses
for Black Friday during the holiday season. This campaign has won a Webby Award, and has been
nominated for a Clio Award, among others. In 2021 Wyclef co-founded SodoMoodLab, a jingle and
scoring company. In his most recent project with Sodo, Wyclef stepped in as composer for seasons four
and five of Showtime’s The Chi, a show created by screenwriter and actress Lena Waithe.

(Image: (L-R) Nikoa Evans, Wyclef Jean, Yvonne McNair, Larry Miller, Musa Jackson / Courtesy Harlem Festival of Culture)

Launched in April, 2022, the Harlem Festival of Culture was founded by Nikoa Evans, Musa Jackson
and Yvonne McNair and created to recapture and return the heart of the historic Harlem Cultural
Festival held in 1969 to the community and to showcase the vibrancy and creative energy of today’s
Harlem. The original festival was a pivotal moment in Black history that fell into obscurity for over 50
years and inspired Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s acclaimed Oscar winning concert documentary film
Summer of Soul (…Or When the Revolution Could Not be Televised).

With this reimagining, Harlem Festival of Culture will celebrate Black culture through cultural and
economic development programming delivered at the nexus of live music and entertainment, a vibrant
cultural destination, and innovative social impact. HFC’s first annual celebration will consist of a series
of live entertainment event experiences and social and economic development programming,
culminating with a multi-day outdoor music festival to be held at Marcus Garvey Park in Summer, 2023
in homage to the original event.