With the assistance of several nonprofits, First Lady Michelle Obama will use jazz on Monday June 15 to open the White House Music Series. The performance and education series will feature artists of all ages who will perform, educate and interact with young people.
The series will begin with the Jazz Studio on Monday followed by country and classical music events this summer and fall.
On Monday, some 150 middle school and high school students will participate in classes led by Wynton, Branford and Ellis Marsalis, followed by a concert featuring Paquito D’Rivera and child protégé Tony Madruga with his ensemble.
Participating organizations include Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts, Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, Levine School of Music, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, SITAR Arts Center, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the WPAS Capitol Jazz Project.
The afternoon events will take place in the East Room, State Dining Room and Diplomatic Reception Room of The White House.
It is great to see jazz first in line for this showcase and educational opportunity. We'd likely all heard that President Obama has several jazz players on his iPod.
The presidential jazz connection is stretching in a tangible way. It wouldn't surprise me if he shows up to enjoy at least some portion of the performances without upstaging the hostess.