Besides having its full lineup revealed, the Juneteenth celebration at the Hollywood Bowl is due to get an audience much bigger than can fit into a Los Angeles ravine. “Juneteenth: A Global Celebration of Freedom” will be broadcast live on all CNN platforms June 19, with artists including Earth, Wind & Fire, the Roots, Robert Glasper, Mickey Guyton, Anthony Hamilton, Billy Porter and Jhené Aiko.
Virtually every major genre of music will be represented in the lineup, including R&B, classical, hip-hop, country, pop, gospel and jazz. Killer Mike, Lucky Daye, Mary Mary, Michelle Williams and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy further round out a program that will also feature the first time an all-Black orchestra has performed on the Hollywood Bowl stage in its 101 years.
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Besides performing with his group the Roots, Oscar winner Questlove will serve as co-musical director, working alongside Adam Blackstone. Conductors for what has been dubbed the Re-Collective Orchestra will be Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor at the Hollywood Bowl, and Derrick Hodge.
Live Nation Urban and Jesse Collins Entertainment are producing the concert and broadcast with participation from the LA Phil. An announcement says the show “represents the vision” of Live Nation Urban President Shawn Gee and Dionne Harmon and Jesse Collins of Jesse Collins Entertainment,
Things will get off to an early start that Sunday at the Bowl, with tickets for the program listing a 4:30 p.m. PT start time, and the CNN broadcast slated to begin on the east coast at 8 p.m. ET. (Ticketing information can be found here, with admission prices ranging from $20-260.)
The year 2022 marks only the second year that Juneteenth has been a federal holiday, after Congress ratified its status just prior to last year’s commemoration. But with roots that date back to 1865, this year’s celebration is described as the 157th annual Black Independence Day. The holiday celebrates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans specifically and has become a celebration of Black culture generally.
“This is the most important event we’ve ever produced at Live Nation Urban,” said Gee in a statement. “It’s a moment to celebrate and reflect on Black independence and the Black experience. It’s also a moment to raise awareness and shine light on the miles we still need to travel to true equity.”
Said Chris Licht, chairman-CEO of CNN Worldwide, “I’m thrilled that CNN is broadcasting this historic event for our viewers across the globe to celebrate and understand the significance of Juneteenth.”
“Our commitment to amplifying Black voices and those of other marginalized groups is paramount to remaining the worldwide leader in news,” said Johnita P. Due, CNN Worldwide’s SVP and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “Through musical performances and thoughtful storytelling we will embody the excellence and resilience of the Black community in the continued pursuit for freedom and social justice.”
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