Pinkster Festival Set for May 27 at Philipsburg Manor

Imani Uzuri

Music, dance, drumming, and crafts and food inspired by Black culture will highlight “The Pinkster Festival: Remembrance and Renewal” on May 27, from 10am-5pm at Philipsburg Manor.

The festivities will commemorate the region’s African American history and culture and look forward into a vibrant future with live performances, storytelling, and hands-on art activities. Performances from Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Maurice “Mobetta” Brown, renowned vocalist Imani Uzuri, spoken word artist Malik Work, krump dancers HallowDreamz, master African drummer Maxwell Kofi Donkor, and storyteller Joy Kelly, are main stage highlights. In the site’s historic barn, DJ GoodWill will perform a live set complete with immersive images. Visitors can also get hands-on making Adinkra stamps, shekeres, and flower crowns, and enjoy tasty treats inspired by African cuisine.

Pinkster, originally a Dutch observance of the Pentecost, was by the 1800s in New York recognized as a joyous, festive African American holiday celebrating the arrival of spring.

“The Pinkster celebration is a beloved Historic Hudson Valley tradition. Throughout the decades, Pinkster has supported our mission to lift up the memory of the enslaved community at Philipsburg Manor and commemorate their perseverance and their contributions to our nation,” explained Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, vice president of programs and engagement for Historic Hudson Valley. “This year, we invited the gifted poet and playwright Malik Work to curate Pinkster for the 21st century. He has transformed our event into a joyful spring festival of music, dance, stories and song, featuring an array of Black artists whose extraordinary work reminds us that Black history is American history.”

Work, an accomplished actor and theater artist and a founding member of the groundbreaking jazz/hip hop group The Real Live Show, is curating The Pinkster Festival’s performances. He previously collaborated with Historic Hudson Valley on an original piece of poetry for the award-winning interactive documentary, People Not Property.

“As a native of the New York region, I am deeply honored to help curate, celebrate, educate folks about, and propagate the Pinkster tradition, in the very spirit of remembrance and renewal,” said Work.

Headlining the day’s events is the critically acclaimed trumpeter Maurice “Mobetta” Brown. NPR called his album The Cycle of Love one of the best records of the year and he won a Grammy for his work on Tedeschi-Trucks Band’s album Revelator. He has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Barclay’s Center, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest.

Admission is $14 for adults; $12 for seniors and young adults 18-25; free for children under 17 and for Historic Hudson Valley members.

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