UMKC Jazz Legend Bobby Watson to Perform at the White House

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance announces that saxophone great Bobby Watson will perform at the White House later this month as part of a gala commemoration of International Jazz Day.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in conjunction with International Jazz Day and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, recently announced details for the 5th anniversary International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert at the White House on April 29. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the event, which will be broadcast on International Jazz Day, April 30, as a one-hour primetime ABC television special, “Jazz at the White House.” The concert also will be streamed on the United Nations, UNESCO, U.S. State Department and White House websites. The concert will feature an array of artists from around the world, including Kansas City’s-own Watson, paying tribute to the truly American art form of jazz.

“I am honored to be included among all of the other great musicians,” Watson said. “It’s a bucket list for sure.” Watson previously performed at the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency.

The All-Star Global Concert at the White House will feature performances by Joey Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Kris Bowers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Till Brönner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chick Corea, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Robert Glasper, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock,  Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Lionel Loueke, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, James Morrison, Danilo Pérez, Rebirth Brass Band, Dianne Reeves, Lee Ritenour, David Sánchez, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Sting, Trombone Shorty, Chucho Valdés, Bobby Watson, Ben Williams and others. John Beasley will serve as the evening’s musical director.

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