Updated Fri, Mar 14, 2014 1:48 pm
Monday, April 7 • 9 p.m.
“Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House” is a PBS music special taped in the East Room of the White House, celebrating the great “foremothers” of American music, with songs expressing the struggles and achievements of women. The all-star concert will include performances by Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott, with Greg Phillinganes as music director. The program, part of the Emmy Award-nominated “In Performance at the White House” series, is the fifty-second production in the series’ thirty-six years. This will be the first time “In Performance at the White House” features an all-female line-up.
“Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House” will be a celebration of American women artists whose work has left an indelible and profound impact on our national musical culture, across Blues, Jazz, Soul, Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll. The evening will pay homage to trailblazing female artists and their memorable songs.
“WETA is pleased to join the White House in celebrating the power and legacy of the female voice,” stated Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA. “Through the ‘In Performance at the White House’ series, public broadcasting and WETA continue to preserve and honor the diverse history of our country, which music captures so beautifully, and bring it to the national stage.”
“This will be the first time that the ‘In Performance at the White House’ series concert will consist solely of female vocalists,” said Paula A. Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. “The stories and music of women artists are an important part of our cultural history, and one we are proud to highlight as part of ‘In Performance at the White House.’”
“We are pleased to support ‘In Performance at the White House’ and the cultural influence female singers have as storytellers of the American experience,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “Through public media that informs, educates, inspires and entertains, we are delighted to bring this shared part of our nation’s heritage to the local communities we serve.”
In addition to the evening concert, the morning of the concert taping the White House will host “I’m Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul,” an educational workshop for 124 middle school, high school and college-level students from across the country, held in the State Dining Room. The event will be produced by The GRAMMY Museum® and led by Robert Santelli, executive director of The GRAMMY Museum® in Los Angeles. Santelli is a leading musicologist and music educator who will give the students an overview of the impact of women’s music on the country, discuss important artists from throughout its history, and explore the struggles and the achievements of women in American music. Santelli will be joined by special musical guests Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge and Janelle Monáe, who will share their experiences as well as answer students’ questions.
“I’m Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul” will be accompanied by a broader educational program, also developed by The GRAMMY Museum®, consisting of visits to Greater Washington-area institutions and a special student press conference where student journalists will be able to question production staff for articles in their school or local newspaper. This is the seventh educational workshop at the White House that The GRAMMY Museum® has organized, in cooperation with the “In Performance at the White House” concert series.