Next week, students will have the opportunity to see Questlove at Binghamton University’s Anderson Center.
In “A Conversation with Questlove,” Mountainview College Collegiate Professor Dr. Dana Stewart and Newing College Resident Director Derek Jordan will moderate a conversation with Questlove. At the end of the event, students will be given time to pose questions in a forum. Students may purchase tickets for $5, and alumni and non-affiliated attendees can purchase tickets for $10 at the Anderson Center box office and online.
Questlove is a remarkably accomplished artist. Outside of being a frontman for the critically acclaimed hip hop band, The Roots, some of the musician’s accomplishments include teaching as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, producing records for the likes of John Legend and Amy Winehouse and his work on the Broadway hit, Hamilton — just to name a few. Furthermore, he recently made his directorial debut, with his documentary, “Summer of Soul,” earning him his first-ever Oscar for Best Documentary this year.
Jennifer Keegin, chair of the Distinguished Speakers Series committee, spoke positively of Questlove.
“He’s a man of many talents and skills and interests,” Keegin said. “He’s the leader of the band, The Roots, which has its own hip hop history … he just put together a documentary that won an Oscar. And then he has a lot of Grammys for his music.”
The Distinguished Speakers series was meant to be open to all BU community members interested in learning about the featured speakers, and was intended to be affordable for all students and staff members, according to Keegin. Keegin recalled past participants of the Distinguished Speaker Series.
“The Distinguished Speaker Series has been around for a couple of years now,” Keegin said. “We’ve had Queen Latifah, we’ve had Bo Burnham in the recent past. How it started was we wanted to bring in speakers utilizing campus fee funds and we wanted it to be for the entire University. We were looking for upper-level distinguished speakers for everybody.”
According to Keegin, the event moderator, Stewart, shares a connection with Questlove’s recent documentary, “Summer of Soul” — as she teaches about it within her course. Keegin described the process for selecting speakers.
“We have a committee of people with faculty, staff and students, and we put forward ideas of who might be good and see if they can fit into our budget,” Keegin said. “We were looking at Questlove and we were looking at Jonathan Van Ness. [Questlove’s] an author, he’s written four books, he has an Oscar, he has Grammys, he’s on television[and] he’s the music director for Jimmy Fallon. There were a lot of different elements that the students and everybody in the committee were excited about, so that’s how he got chosen.”
At the end of the 45-minute conversation with Questlove, students can ask their questions in an online forum.
“We have a forum where people want to ask questions of [Questlove],” Keegin said. “We’ll pick like a handful of them and we’ll ask them live. We are calling it ‘Ask Questlove’ … It’s open to anybody.”