NewsFeb 08 2010
Blind Boys of Alabama to Perform at White HouseThe Blind Boys of Alabama
have been invited to perform at a special concert at the White House on February 10th. “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music From the Civil Rights Movement,” will be held in the State Dining Room, and is timed to celebrate Black History Month.
The Blind Boys will join hosts President and Mrs. Obama as well as music superstars Bob Dylan, John Legend, Seal, Jennifer Hudson, John Mellencamp, Natalie Cole and Smokey Robinson on the bill. Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah will emcee the entire event. The concert will be the White House’s first music event of 2010, and is the latest concert in a music series started last year by Michelle Obama. It will be streamed live online atwhitehouse.gov
and broadcast on PBS on February 11th.
The event is a particularly poignant one for the Blind Boys. "Our group started singing together in Alabama in the late 1930s, and we lived through the dark days of segregation," says Jimmy Carter, the band’s leader and one of its founding members. "That’s why it is a great pleasure and an even greater honor to sing on this program."
The White House concert adds to an already remarkable year for the legendary gospel group. The band opened 2010 with a series of concerts in China, then flew to New York last week where they were joined by Lou Reed for a blistering performance on the "Late Show with David Letterman." Their rendition of “Jesus,” from the Blind Boys’ current album Duets, marked the first time the unusual collaborators had performed in public together.
The Blind Boys are also featured in the new documentary film which relates to the subject matter of the White House show. Soundtrack for a Revolution tells the story of the civil rights movement through the music which accompanied the struggle. The movie is on the short list in the Best Documentary Film category for the Academy Awards.
Soundtrack features the Blind Boys as well as the Roots, John Legend, Wyclef Jean and many other performers interpreting the music of the Civil Rights Movement. In its review of the film, the New York Times noted that one of “the best musical performances belong[s] to…the Blind Boys of Alabama.”