As part of their "In Performance at the White House" series, the President and First Lady will invite music legends and contemporary major artists to the White House for a celebration of Blues music and in recognition of Black History Month. The program will include performances by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Jeff Beck, Gary Clark, Jr., Shemekia Copeland, Buddy Guy, Warren Haynes, Mick Jagger, B.B. King, Keb Mo, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, with Taraji P. Henson as the program host and Booker T. Jones as music director and band leader. The President's remarks will be pooled press and the entire event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/live starting at 7:20 PM ET.
"In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues" will be broadcast Monday, February 27 at 9 PM ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings). The program will also be broadcast at a later date via the American Forces Network to American service men and women and civilians at U.S. Department of Defense locations around the world.
As she has done with previous White House music events, the First Lady will host a special daytime event for students. The First Lady will welcome 120 middle and high school students from across the country to take part in an interactive student workshop event: "At the Crossroads: A History of the Blues in America." Beginning at 2:30 PM in the State Dining Room, The GRAMMY Museum's Executive Director Robert Santelli will lead the students in an overview of the origins of the Blues, discuss important artists from throughout its history, and cover the genre's evolution from African American spirituals and work songs to its influence on the chart-topping hits of today. Featured performers from the evening event will share their experiences as well as answer student questions about the music and entertainment world. Students from 24 schools from the following ten communities will participate: Belleville, Illinois; Indianola, Mississippi; Kensington, Maryland; Long Beach, California; Los Angeles, California; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey; Seattle, Washington and St. Louis, Missouri.
The workshop, "At the Crossroads: A History of the Blues in America," will stream live on www.whitehouse.gov/live.
"In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues" will be the eighth "In Performance at the White House" program hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama. Starting in February 2009, these events have honored the musical genius of Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney; celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month; marked Black History Month with events featuring the music from the Civil Rights Movement and Motown; spotlighted Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical; and explored the rich roots and resiliency of Country Music.