Washington, D.C. — “In Performance at the White House: Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz” showcases an evening of celebration with President and Mrs. Bush at the White House in honor of the Thelonious Monk Institute and the jazz music genre. The program airs Wednesday, April 4, 2007, at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide. (Check local listings.) Hosted by Barbara Walters, the evening includes performances by Herbie Hancock, Anita Baker, Wayne Shorter, Nnenna Freelon, Clark Terry, Lisa Henry and Bobby Watson, among others. It also includes interviews with jazz notables Hancock and Thelonious Monk, Jr. The program is rounded out by behind-the-scenes and documentary footage, as well as interviews with the artists.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a non-profit education organization, was founded in 1986 by the Monk family along with the late Maria Fisher, an opera singer and lifelong devotee of music. Its mission is to offer the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by America’s jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world.
“In Performance at the White House” began with an East Room recital by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz in 1978, and since then has embraced virtually every genre of American music: pop, country, gospel, jazz and the blues among them. The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation’s most famous home. During the administration of President George W. Bush, programs have showcased the United States Marine Band, the singing talents of Natalie Cole, the best of Broadway musicals and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
“In Performance at the White House: Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz” is a production of WETA Washington, D.C., which created the series. The executive producers are Dalton Delan and David S. Thompson. The senior producer is Jackson Frost. The director is Joe Camp. Corporate funding is provided by Northrop Grumman. Additional funding is provided by The Annenberg Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. The live performance in the East Room was produced by The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Tom Carter is executive producer.
WETA Washington, D.C., is the third-largest producing station for public television. WETA’s other productions and co-productions include “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal,” “The Kennedy Center Presents,” and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including “The Civil War” and coming in September 2007, “The War.” Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available on the Web site at www.weta.org.
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