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Tessanne Chin joins big-name acts for concert at US president’s official residence

TESSANNE Chin will score another first in American and Jamaican music history tomorrow when she performs at the White House at a concert being staged by US First Lady Michelle Obama.The event, titled ‘Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House’ will also feature an impressive line-up of American music legends, namely Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monae and Jill Scott, with Greg Phillinganes as music director, the White House Office of the First Lady announced yesterday in a news release.

According to the White House, the artists will perform songs expressing the struggles and achievements of women.

The show will be streamed live at at 7:30 pm, but will be broadcast on PBS stations across America on Monday, April 7 at 9:00 pm.

At a later date it will be broadcast via the American Forces Network to US servicemen and women and civilians at Department of Defence locations around the world, the White House added.

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

The show will give Chin even wider exposure than she received as she competed on season five of The Voice, the NBC TV talent contest, which she won last December, becoming the first Jamaican to take that title.

Since then, she has made a number of appearances in the US, including the Rose Bowl on January 1 this year.

Yesterday, the Office of the First Lady said that, as with previous White House music events, Mrs Obama 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’.”

Scheduled to begin at 11:00 am in the State Dining Room, the workshop will see Robert Santelli, executive director of The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, giving participating students an overview of the origins of soul music, informing them of important artistes, discussing the social climate of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s as it pertains to women’s rights and dissecting 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,” the news release said.

The workshop will stream live on


Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle

Tomorrow evening’s concert will be the 12th during President Barack Obama’s administration.

The shows have honoured Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Carole King, and have also celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month.

They have also marked Black History Month with events featuring the music of Motown, Memphis Soul, the blues, and from the civil rights movement, in addition to exploring the rich roots of country music, and spotlighting Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical.

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