the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Upcoming Guidance on “Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House"

Event includes Evening Performances and Daytime Student Workshop Honoring Women in Music

Thursday, March 6 * White House – As part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, the President and First Lady will invite music legends and contemporary major female artists to the White House for a celebration of the great “foremothers” of American music, with songs expressing the struggles and achievements of women. The program will include performances by Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott, with Greg Phillinganes as music director.  The President’s remarks will be pooled press and the entire event will be streamed live at at 7:30 PM ET.  “Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House will be broadcast Monday, April 7 at 9:00 PM ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings).  The program will also be broadcast at a later date via the American Forces Network to American service men and women and civilians at U.S. Department of Defense locations around the world.

As with previous White House music events, the First Lady will host a special daytime workshop for students. The First Lady will welcome 124 middle school, high school and college students from across the country to take part in an interactive student workshop: “I’m Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul.” Beginning at 11:00 AM in the State Dining Room, Robert Santelli, Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum® in Los Angeles, will give participating students an overview of the origins of soul music, inform them of important artists, discuss the social climate of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s as it pertains to women’s rights and dissect the elements of soul that helped contribute to the genre’s unique sounds.   Featured performers from the evening event will share their experiences as well as answer student questions about the music and entertainment world.  Students from 11 schools or programs from the following communities will participate: Cleveland, MS; Eddyville, OR; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Potomac and Sandy Spring, MD; Waiʻanae, HI; and Washington, D.C.

The workshop, “I’m Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul,” will stream live on  This event will be open press, but space is limited. Members of the media who wish to cover this event must RSVP to by Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM ET. Press who do not have a White House hard pass must include their social security number, date of birth, country of citizenship, current city/state of residence and gender in their request.

“Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House” will be the twelfth “In Performance at the White House” program during President Barack Obama’s administration.  From February 2009 to the most recent broadcast in May 2013, these latest “In Performance at the White House” events have honored the musical genius of Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Carole King; celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month; marked Black History Month with events featuring the music of Motown, Memphis Soul, the Blues, and from the Civil Rights Movement; explored the rich roots of Country music; and spotlighted Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical.