Slate of performers for “A Celebration of America”
JALC and The Rockefeller Foundation today announced the full slate of performers that will take part in “A Celebration Of America” in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the occasion of the Presidential Inauguration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 19, 2009 at 7 p.m.
Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance have been confirmed as hosts.
The following artists have been confirmed: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bela Fleck, Cassandra Wilson, Chorale Le Chateau of New York City conducted by Damien Sneed, Dave Brubeck, Dianne Reeves, Don Vappie, Dr. Michael White, Foxborough (MA) High School Jazz Ensemble, Francesco Cafiso, Freddy Cole, Giovanni Hidalgo, Grace Kelly, Herlin Riley, Jared Grimes, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jessye Norman, Jonathan Batiste, Lucian Barberin, Marcus Gilmore, Mark O’Connor, Odadaa! with Yacub Addy, Paquito D’Rivera with Diego Urcola, Alex Brown, Oscar Stagnaro, and Mark Walker, Roy Haynes and Shannon Powell.
The evening’s cornerstone will be interchange between Wynton and Justice O’Connor. They will share the stage with a select group of celebrated artists whose repertoire selections will support the discussion about the values of civil society and the principles of democracy that jazz embodies.
“A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA” was inspired by an impromptu conversation about jazz and democracy that took place between Wynton Marsalis and Rockefeller Foundation board member retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at a recent dinner. Mr. Marsalis and Justice O’Connor believe passionately that the basic tenets of American democracy and America’s music are one and the same. There is no better time to celebrate this theme than on this evening that will look back at the life of one of the greatest of all Americans, and forward to a new era under a new President of the United States. And there is no better way to celebrate it than through what Dr. King, himself, called America’s ‘triumphant music’ – jazz.
“A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA” by Jazz at Lincoln Center is made possible through the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation.