The White House was full of soul music last night as President Obama hosted music legends and younger artists for a celebration of Memphis Soul music.
Justin Timberlake and Queen Latifah were among the performers that celebrated the blues and soul music tradition. Booker T. Jones served as music director and band leader, while Alabama Shakes, Cyndi Lauper, American Idol‘s Joshua Ledet, and Mavis Staples joined the line up among others.
“I’m in my second term now, so rather than Hail to the Chief, we’re going with that (Green Onions by Booker T. & the MG’s) from here on out. A little change in tradition,” Obama joked.
Justin’s new bride, Jessica Biel, sat front row. And after recognizing two staffers who recently got engaged, the President joked, “Justin, they are looking for a wedding singer. I’m just sayin’.”
Check out JT’s performance of (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay with Steve Cropper:
Earlier in the day, Mrs. Obama hosted a student Memphis Soul workshop, featuring Sam Moore, Mavis Staples, Justin Timberlake, Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper.
Mrs. Obama told the students, “…The only way for you to become the best musician you can be is pushing through those moments when something doesn’t seem fun — by spending hours in the practice room, repeating those scales, and drilling into that theory.”