In the continuing music series, In Performance at the White House, the Obamas welcomed a stellar group of musical talent (from Joan Baez to the Blind Boys of Alabama) to “the People’s House” on February 9 for A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement. In one of the most rousing performances of the evening, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Rutha Harris and Charles Nesblett, original members of the Freedom Singers, joined by Toshi Reagon on guitar and vocals belted out (Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody) Turn Me Round.
Earlier in the day, Toshi participated in a music workshop to explain the significance of music on the Civil Rights Movement. Lucky high school students from across the nation were brought to the White House to listen as Dr. Reagon, Smokey Robinson and others dropped the knowledge.
I was delighted to see that Toshi once again honored our Prez, repped for Brooklyn, and showed me some love by wearing her baracklyn T-shirt (from our line of Presidential Tees.) Last year she donned it to jam onstage with and in living tribute to her godfather, Pete Seeger, at his 90th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden.
Toshi, Warren Haynes and Pete Seeger. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/GettyImages
Toshi and her mom reunite tonight at eight in Boston for Roots and Reason: A Celebration of American Roots Music at the Berklee College of Music. It’s a busy time for Toshi; keep up with her tour dates at her website, http://toshireagon.com/.