The White House may be closed to ordinary, everyday visitors coming to the nation’s capital, but it’s open to Cyndi Lauper and Justin Timberlake.
As part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, next Tuesday the Obamas will welcome musicians for a celebration of Memphis Soul music.
Performances are scheduled to include Alabama Shakes, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and Timberlake, with Booker T. Jones as music director and band leader.
Earlier in the day, Michelle Obama will welcome 120 middle and high school students from across the country to take part in an interactive student workshop event: “Soulsville, USA: The History of Memphis Soul.” In the State Dining Room, Robert Santelli, executive director of The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, “will lead the students in an overview of the origins of Memphis Soul, discuss important artists from throughout its history, and explore the elements of soul and gospel that helped contribute to the genre’s unique sound,” according to the White House. “Featured performers from the evening event will share their experiences as well as answer student questions about the music and entertainment world.”
Students from 16 schools and organizations in Herndon, Va., Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., Memphis, Tenn., New York, N.Y., Sandy Spring, Md., Tampa and Tarpon Springs, Fla., and Washington, D.C., were invited.
The evening will be the tenth “In Performance at the White House” program hosted by the Obamas since February 2009.