The Obamas Are Hosting a Huge International Jazz Day Concert, Featuring Aretha Franklin, Esperanza Spalding and Herbie Hancock


The Obamas are coming to ABC. Unfortunately, that does not mean that they’re getting their own family sitcom or reality show, but it does mean that they’re getting a one-hour primetime special for their just-announced White House International Jazz Day 2016 concert/festivities.

It was revealed last night that the Obamas will be throwing a concert on the evening of April 29 (which will be broadcast on the 30th, the fifth International Jazz Day) that’ll include huge names like Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, Esperanza Spalding, Buddy Guy, Sting, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper, Hugh Masekela, Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin. The event is presented in part by the Thelonius Monk Institute, whose aim is to exhibit “the power of jazz as a force for freedom and creativity.” Though that particular concert will be what’s broadcast on ABC, there will be a series of master classes, jam sessions, panels and outreach initiatives happening throughout Washington, D.C. on International Jazz Day.

According to Billboard, Tom Carter, the president of the Thelonius Monk institute, said that there’ll also be related community service programs happening in all 50 states and in nearly every country, asserting that 2.8 billion people were reached through last year’s programming — whatever “reached” may mean. Billboard also notes that Carter said the Obamas didn’t hesitate to host the huge event; as Flavorwire recently reported, Michelle Obama said during her SXSW keynote speech that her appreciation for jazz came in part from her grandfather, who she would visit on Saturdays growing up in Chicago.