In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues

“In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues” is a PBS special taped in the East Room of the White House celebrating Blues music.  President and Mrs. Obama will host the concert event in recognition of Black History Month.  The evening will include program host Taraji P. Henson and 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 Booker T. Jones as music director and band leader.

“In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues” will honor the musical form that sprang from the Mississippi Delta and flourished in the Westside of Chicago with deep roots in Africa and slavery.  The performances will explore those roots and pay homage to the great figures of the Blues and the songs they made famous by tracing the influence of the Blues on modern American music from soul to rock’n’roll.

“It is our ongoing delight to bring this concert series to the American people in collaboration with the White House,” noted Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA.  “This event marks the forty-eighth production of the WETA ‘In Performance at the White House’ series and continues to demonstrate how public broadcasting brings rich cultural experiences to a wide audience.”

“The Blues are not only the most American of art forms, but the fundamental inspiration for some of the most important artists of our generation,” said Paula A. Kerger, president and CEO of PBS.  “Since 1978, ‘In Performance at the White House’ has spotlighted some of our nation’s best performers, and celebrated our nation’s heritage. The upcoming special on the Blues continues in this tradition and celebrates music born out of struggle that touches the soul and inspires the mind and holds a unique place in American arts.”

“The quintessentially American tradition of the Blues, which combines African roots with New World sensibilities, speaks eloquently to our unique history as Americans, reaching back to the founding of this nation during a time of slavery.  It is an honor to bring the songs and great performers of the Blues to the White House and to the American public in a broadcast during Black History Month,” commented Jacquie Jones, executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NPBC).

“This concert at the White House celebrates the musical contributions that the Blues have made to our culture,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  “Through public media, all Americans are able to explore and experience this unique part of our country’s heritage.”

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