The Kennedy Center Honorees for this year (Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Martina Arroyo, and Shirley MacLaine) spent Sunday evening at the White House with the president prior to the Kennedy Center Opera House event. The celebration will be broadcast on December 29th from 9 to 11 p.m. on CBS.
President Obama spoke about the five talented individuals as being the embodiment of President Kennedy's wish for a society enriched by talents from the art community. “Each of our brilliant honorees has given us something unique and of richness beyond measure. As individuals and as a nation, together they bring us closer to President Kennedy’s vision of the arts as a great humanizing and truth-telling experience." Obama said before adding, "Their triumphs have lifted our spirits, and have lifted our nation, and have left us in a better and richer place."
Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein previously released the following statement about the honorees.
“The Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world. Martina Arroyo has dazzled the world with her glorious soprano voice and continues to share her artistry with a new generation of opera singers; Herbie Hancock has established himself as one of the most innovative musicians in the world, constantly breaking musical barriers and redefining the art of jazz."
Rubenstein's statement continued as follows: "Billy Joel’s melodies have provided the soundtrack of our lives for over four decades making him one pop music’s most prolific and memorable singers and songwriters; the remarkable breadth and range of Shirley MacLaine’s acting has left an indelible impression over a nearly 60-year career on stage and screen; from his legendary performance at Woodstock to his sweep at the 2000 Grammys and beyond, Carlos Santana’s artistry transcends genres while entertaining millions.”
(image)[Images Via Wikimedia Commons and Courtesy of minds-eye, Sjaak, Tony Shek, Jaud, Andrew Bossi as well as http://www.martinaarroyo.com/]