Video: President, First Lady Michelle Host 'The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at White House', Featuring Aretha Franklin, Rhiannon Giddens

( [email protected] ) Apr 13, 2015 05:22 PM EDT
President Obama
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama applaud the performance of Harry Connick Jr. and the Big Band during the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House. (Photo : Pete Souza/ 

Popular Christian artists Rhiannon Giddens, Aretha Franklin, Emmylou Harris, Tamela Mann and Rodney Crowell are among those set to participate in the upcoming event "The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House."

According to the event's press release, the evening will be a "celebration with President and Mrs. Obama at the White House in honor of Gospel music and its profound influence on American music." President Obama's remarks and the entire event will be streamed live on the White House' website on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 PM (ET).

"The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House" will also feature performances from Bishop Rance Allen, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Darlene Love, Lyle Lovett, Tamela Mann, the Morgan State University Choir, and former Destiny's Child singer, Michelle Williams. Record producer T. Bone Burnett will serve as executive music director, Bill Maxwell as music director, and Good Morning America's Robin Roberts as program host.

On the morning of the concert, Michelle Obama will host "The History of Gospel Music," an educational workshop which will be attended by 120 middle school, high school and college-level students from across the country. According to the event's press release, students will be provided with an overview of the impact of gospel music on the country, discuss important artists from throughout the genre's history, and explore its influence on American music.

The hour-long program, part of the Emmy Award-nominated "In Performance at the White House" series, is the fifty-fourth production in the series' thirty-seven year history. According to, the series spans every administration since President Carter's, and was created to "showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation's most famous home."

Past "In Performance at the White House" events have honored the musical genius of dozens of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David. However, Tuesday night's event will be the first time the series has focused on Christian music.

In addition to the live stream, the event will be broadcast Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:00 PM ET on PBS stations nationwide and will also be simulcast on TV One.

"'In Performance at the White House' has brought some of the greatest performers of our time to a national stage, providing viewers a front row seat to extraordinary music," said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. "I am especially excited about this concert, which will celebrate a genre with rich roots and multifaceted history in this country. This presentation is part of PBS' ongoing commitment to bring the best in arts and performances to our viewers."