Not Your Typical Dinner Gig

Herbie Hancock waves to guests at the White House state dinner welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao. i

Herbie Hancock waves to guests at the White House state dinner welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images
Herbie Hancock waves to guests at the White House state dinner welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Herbie Hancock waves to guests at the White House state dinner welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Last night's state dinner, wherein President Barack Obama hosted Chinese President Hu Jintao, featured plenty of jazz. Herbie Hancock was among the headlining performers, as were Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Chris Botti. (The Chinese-born, New York-based classical pianist Lang Lang also appeared.) And the backing band? Randy Brecker on trumpet, Antonio Hart on alto sax, James Genus on bass, Peter Martin on piano and Matt Wilson on drums — you know, just some cats from 'round the way, who the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz helped to present. More details about the rest of the ceremony are in the White House program (opens a PDF).

A Blog Supreme tried to sneak in by posing as legitimate journalists, but disappointingly, the Secret Service seems to have learned its lesson from Michaele and Tareq Salahi. (I knew I should have sprung for the more expensive wig.)

Also, from @mattwilsonjazz on Twitter: "Pretty wild to hear the President of the US announce your name!! Shook his hand and I kissed the First Lady! Clinton & Carter are hipsters!"


Related At NPR Music: On the June 2009 White House jazz event. And a month prior to that, ELEW and Esperanza Spalding played the East Room.

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