"Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House" showcases an evening of celebration with President and Mrs. Obama at the White House in honor of the legacy of iconic singer, songwriter, composer and musician Ray Charles. The evening includes performances by Yolanda Adams, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Anthony Hamilton, Brittany Howard, Demi Lovato, Sam Moore, Jussie Smollett, The Band Perry and Usher with Rickey Minor as executive music director. The hour-long program, part of the Emmy Award-nominated “In Performance at the White House” series, is the 56th production in the series’ thirty-eight-year history. 

The concert broadcast premiered Friday, February 26 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for rebroadcast information) and was simulcast on cable channel TV One. 

The television program “Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House” is a production of WETA Washington, D.C.; The Grammy Museum; TV One; CoMedia; Mark Krantz Productions; Cappy Productions; and Black and White TV Inc. Executive producers are Dalton Delan, Cappy McGarr, Robert Santelli, Valerie Ervin, Rickey Minor, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky and Mark Krantz. The supervising producer is Michael B. Matuza. Robert Santelli is executive director of the GRAMMY Museum®. Geovanni Brewer is producer for Black and White TV. The director is Linda Mendoza. The executive music director is Rickey Minor. The series producer is Jackson Frost. The “In Performance at the White House” series was created by WETA Washington, D.C. Funding for this program is provided by PepsiCo; the Kovler Foundation; Tracy Richelle High and Roman Johnson; Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ojora Saraki, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa; Karen and Sam Seymour; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Air travel is generously provided by American Airlines.

“In Performance at the White House” has been produced by WETA since 1978 and spans every administration since President Carter’s. The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation’s most famous home. “In Performance at the White House” events have honored the musical genius of Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David; celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month; marked Black History Month with events featuring music from the Civil Rights Movement, Motown and the Blues; explored the rich roots and resiliency of Country music; and spotlighted Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical.

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