In recognition of the impact of Blues Music on American culture, and in conjunction with Black History Month, President Obama and the First Lady will be hosting a number of blues artists at the White House on Tuesday, February 22nd. Among the artists performing are B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Keb’ Mo’, recent Grammy winners Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Jeff Beck, Gary Clark, Jr. Warren Haynes, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Shemika Copeland, and Mick Jagger. Booker T. Jones will act as the band leader, and Taraji P. Henson will be hosting the program.
The event will be streamed live in it’s entirety on the White House’s Official Feed at 7:20 PM Eastern Time in February 22nd. It will air at 9:00 Eastern later that night on PBS.
The performance is part of “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues”, a long-running series, hosted by PBS, that has been airing since 1978. About the prestigious honor bestowed upon the Blues as a musical art form and the artists that will be representing it’s diverse facets, PBS has this to say:
“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.
Earlier in the day, First Lady Michelle Obama will be welcoming and hosting over 100 middle and high school children from across the country for an event entitled “At the Crossroads: A History of the Blues in America.”
Grammy Museum’s Executive Director Robert Santelli will be leading a lesson on the development of the blues, it’s history, and how the influential art form known as the Blues has been the basis of nearly every popular development of American music, from Rock n’ Roll to Rap and R&B. The Grammys have been harshly criticized this year for axing many traditional roots categories of the Grammy Awards, including the Traditional Blues Award. Many of the artists who will be performing will be on hand to discuss their influences, music, the blues, and life in the industry.
The “At The Crossroads” event will also be streamed live on the White House’s official feed.
The special event honoring the Blues will be the eighth such event hosted by President and Mrs. Obama.