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Peter Jennings anchors "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration"
A Live, Three-Hour Special Airing On ABC

Featuring Performances By Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, India.Arie, Hank Williams, Jr., Los Lobos, Gillian Welch, Boston Pops, Wynton Marsalis And Many Others


Peter Jennings will anchor a live, three-hour special to commemorate Independence Day, featuring performances that will pay a powerful tribute to our nation's rich musical history. "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration" will feature live performances and explore musical genres from all styles of music -- everything from pop to pomp, Broadway to barbershop, classics to country and more. Performers scheduled to appear include Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, India.Arie, Hank Williams, Jr., Los Lobos, Gillian Welch, Boston Pops, Wynton Marsalis, Sandi Patty, the Doobie Brothers and more. "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration" airs Thursday, July 4, 2002 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

From small towns to big cities all across the United States, America will celebrate its independence on Thursday, July 4th, with parades, fireworks, carnivals, town gatherings of all sizes and, of course, music. Throughout the live broadcast ABC News will criss-cross the country to showcase performances from major metropolitan symphonies to popular recording artists and small town music festivals that inspire, incite, energize or just plain entertain.

ABC News will also feature the best of the day's Independence Day celebrations from around the country, with all of the traditional holiday revelry, and a look at some of the more out of the ordinary festivities that are uniquely American as well. These will include fence painting in Missouri, hot air balloons in Michigan, a Native American Powwow in South Dakota, a naturalization ceremony in Virginia, tall ships in Alabama, a Polka Fest in Wisconsin and more.

"In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration" is being produced and directed by the same team who brought viewers ABC News' July 4th special last year to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It is also part of ABC News' "50 States -- One Nation -- One Year" project to report from every state in the country.

Joining Jennings for the broadcast will be noted music folklorist and broadcaster Nick Spitzer, who will help explore the roots and styles of the music featured on the broadcast. Spitzer is the host of Public Radio International's weekly syndicated program, "American Routes," and professor of folklore and cultural conservation at the University of New Orleans.

Some of the performers currently scheduled to appear on "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration" include:

  • From Livingston, Montana, pop singer & songwriter Sheryl Crow; East Los Angeles-based Hispanic band Los Lobos; country music's Hank Williams, Jr., and Gillian Welch. Inspirational gospel singer Sandi Patty will be featured in a patriotic grand finale.

  • From Boston, Massachusetts' Fourth of July Celebration on the Esplanade, the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart.

  • From Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, R&B diva and multi-Grammy, Billboard and American Music Award-winner Alicia Keys, and soul songstress India.Arie. Also from Louisiana, Cajun artists Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys will perform from a separate festival in Erath, Louisiana.

  • From New York City, a Broadway tribute to legendary songwriter Richard Rodgers; from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, Wynton Marsalis (photo) and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; Popular pianist Steve Tyrell will also croon a standard or two.

  • From Dallas, Texas, thirty-year-old minister and platinum selling contemporary gospel artist Kirk Franklin.

  • From Davenport, Iowa's Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, guitarist & blues showman Lonnie Brooks.

  • From Washington, D.C., the United States Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants.

  • From the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartets Singing in America International Convention in Portland, Oregon, reigning International Quartet Champion Michigan Jake.

Anthony Eaton, Roger Goodman, Ricky Kirshner and Tom Yellin are the executive producers of "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration." Goodman is also the director of the broadcast.


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