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White House jazz celebration to feature Aretha Franklin, Sting, Buddy Guy, and more

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The White House will host a major concert in honor of the fifth annual International Jazz Day on April 29. The International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert will features a lineup worthy of a sitting president that includes Herbie Hancock, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Buddy Guy, Chick Corea, Pat Matheny, Diana Krall, Wayne Shorter, and many others. And music fans who can’t get into the gig need not worry: ABC will broadcast the event the following day.

Washington, D.C. is this year’s International Jazz Day host city. The event has previously been hosted by Istanbul, Osaka, and Paris and is sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and UNESCO. “Jazz has been a uniting force and very unifying for people all over the world for the last century,” Tom Carter, the institute’s president, told the Associated Press. “It is the voice for many of those facing challenges around the world.”

John Beasley will serve as the musical director for the event, which will also feature performances by Joey Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Kris Bowers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Till Brönner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Robert Glasper, Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Lionel Loueke, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, John McLaughlin, Marcus Miller, James Morrison, Danilo Pérez, Rebirth Brass Band, Dianne Reeves, Lee Ritenour, David Sánchez, Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty, Chucho Valdés, Bobby Watson, and Ben Williams.

“We are thrilled that President Obama and Michelle Obama are hosting the International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert at the White House, and are truly grateful for their commitment to jazz and its role in building bridges and uniting people around the world,” Hancock said in a press release.

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