Meet the Performers

IPWH-Creativity-TromboneShorty.jpgTroy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.”Photo credit: Kirk Edwards.Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews

New Orleans native Trombone Shorty is the bandleader and frontman of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a hard-edged funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition. A 2011 GRAMMY® Award nominee, his virtuosity and high energy live shows have drawn unanimous raves. In 2014, Andrews was appointed as a ‘Turnaround Artist’ with President Obama’s Turnaround Arts initiative, a program to assist low-performing schools through arts programs. Today, he is passing down his knowledge to the next generation through the Trombone Shorty Foundation. Find out more at tromboneshorty.com

 

IPWH-Creativity-Burnett.jpgCarol Burnett, part of “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016 at 9 p.mCourtesy of Carol BurnettCarol Burnett

An award-winning actress and best-selling author, Burnett is widely recognized for her work on stage and screen, most notably The Carol Burnett Show. Named by TIME as one of the “100 Best Television Shows of All Time,” the program received 25 Emmy Awards. Among her many honors, Burnett has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, is a Kennedy Center honoree, and has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Burnett has established several scholarships around the country supporting arts and education.

 

IPWH-Creativity-BuddyGuy.jpgBuddy Guy, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016 at 9 pmPhoto credit: Paul NatkinBuddy Guy

A pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side Sound, Guy is a native of Louisiana, born in 1936 to a sharecropper’s family. By 1957, he was in Chicago and met Blues great Muddy Waters, who mentored Guy. From the early 1960s, Guy was backing artists at Chess Records including Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson. Guy’s own recordings followed and his style — stinging, attacking electric guitar and wild, impassioned vocals — became a chief guitar influence to rock titans like Jimi Hendrix. In 2005, Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Learn more at buddyguy.com

 

IPWH-Creativity-QueenLatifah.jpgQueen Latifah, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016.Courtesy of Queen LatifahQueen Latifah

This musician, actress, author and entrepreneur is a one-woman entertainment conglomerate. Latifah has earned a GRAMMY® Award, six GRAMMY® nominations and, in 2002, an Academy Award nomination, among others, for her role in Chicago. In 2008 she won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her outstanding performance in the film she produced, Life Support. Latifah owns and operates the production company Flavor Unit Entertainment and is the co-chairman for the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation, Inc., providing scholarships to financially limited students who excel scholastically. Find out more at queenlatifah.com

 

IPWH-Creativity-MCLyte.jpgMC Lyte, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016 at 9 p.m.Photo courtesy of MC LyteMC Lyte

A legendary lyricist, DJ, actress, entertainer and icon, Lyte is one of hip-hop’s pioneer feminists. She was the first solo female rapper to release a full album, 1988’s critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock, and has ten albums to date. Among her honors, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball. From 2011 to 2013, Lyte served as the President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy. She also founded Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, promoting positive images of women of ethnic diversity and presenting scholarships, recently as part of its #EducateOurMen initiative. Learn more at mclytenow.com

 

IPWH-Creativity-McDonald.jpgAudra McDonald, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016.Photo credit: Michael WilsonAudra McDonald

Earning an unprecedented six Tony Awards and the only person to win in all four performance categories, singer/actress McDonald is a unique force, blending a luscious, classically-trained soprano with an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling. In addition to her theatrical work, she is a two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording and concert artist, appearing regularly on many of the great stages of the world. Her television work includes Mike Nichols’s Wit on HBO, A Raisin in the Sun opposite Sean Combs on ABC, and her role in the hit ABC series Private Practice.

 

 

IPWH-Creativity-KebMo.jpgKeb’ Mo’, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016 at 9 pm.Photo: Meghan Aileen SchirmerKeb’ Mo’

A three-time GRAMMY® Award winner, Keb’ Mo’s music is a living link to the seminal Delta Blues that traveled up the Mississippi River and across America, evolving into a universally celebrated art form. Born Kevin Moore in Los Angeles to parents from the South, Mo’s music is an expression of the artistic and cultural journey that has transformed the Blues over time. His distinctive sound embraces multiple eras and genres, including pop, soul, folk, jazz and the singer-songwriter movement, with the common bond of the power of song to convey human experiences. Find out more at kebmo.com

 

 

IPWH-Creativity-Smokey.jpgSmokey Robinson, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016.Photo credit: Nick SpanosSmokey Robinson

Legendary singer, songwriter and producer Robinson’s honey-coated voice connects with listeners in a highly personal way. This Motown legend has earned 37 Top 40 hits during his career, in 1988 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1991 received the Soul Train Music Award for Career Achievement, in 1999 the GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award, and was a 2005 Songwriters Hall of Fame honoree and a 2006 Kennedy Center honoree. His latest album, the critically-acclaimed Intimate, was released in 2014. Learn more at smokeyrobinson.com

 

IPWH-Creativity-Esperanza.jpgEsperanza Spalding, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8.Courtesy of Esperanza SpaldingEsperanza Spalding

Esperanza is the Spanish word for hope, and jazz bassist, vocalist and composer Spalding could not have been given a more fitting name at birth. She draws upon many musical genres in her own compositions, spanning four albums to date, including 2012’s Radio Music Society. Spalding is the 2005 recipient of the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship. She has won four GRAMMY® Awards, including the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 53rd GRAMMY® Awards, making her the first jazz artist to win the award. Find out more at esperanzaspalding.com

 

IPWH-Creativity-StokesMitchell.jpgPhoto: Brian Stokes MitchellBrian Stokes Mitchell

Dubbed “The Last Leading Man” by the New York Times, Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway, television and film, along with appearances in the great American concert halls. In 1998 he received the Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League, the nation’s oldest theatrical honor, for his performance in Ragtime. Among his many roles, he headlined the Carnegie Hall concert presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific with Reba McEntire, which aired on PBS in 2006. He has previously performed for Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama. Learn more at brianstokes.com

 

IPWH-Country-Taylor01.jpgJames Taylor, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016.Photo credit: James O’Mara.James Taylor

James Taylor’s music embodies the art of songwriting in its most personal and universal form. In a career spanning four decades, with close to 100 million albums sold and five GRAMMY® Awards, his immediately recognizable warm baritone, introspective lyrics and unique guitar playing still blaze a path to which musicians throughout the world aspire. In 2011 Taylor was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama, and in 2012 he was awarded the distinguished Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. Find out more at jamestaylor.com

 

IPWH-Creativity-Usher.jpegUsher, performer in “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House.” Premieres Friday, January 8, 2016 at 9 pm.Photo courtesy of UsherUsher

An American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor, Usher rose to fame in the late 1990s with his second album, My Way, garnering his first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, “Nice & Slow.” To date, Usher is one of the best-selling music artists of all time and has received numerous honors, including eight GRAMMY® Awards. Usher also founded New Look, a charity working to “provide young people with a new look on life through education and real-world experience,” among them revitalization initiatives in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Learn more at usherworld.com

 

 

 
 
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