Join us Live From the U.S. Capitol for America's National Independence Day Celebration!
Jimmy Smits Hosts All-Star Line-Up for A CAPITOL FOURTH with Performances by Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Jordin Sparks, Little Richard with the Broadway Cast of Million Dollar Quartet, Kelli O'Hara and the National Symphony Orchestra
WASHINGTON, May 23, 2011 -- A CAPITOL FOURTH, the live PBS broadcast of America's favorite Independence Day tradition, will feature unrivaled performances from some of the country's best-known musical names topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits will host the all-star line-up that includes: Grammy and Emmy Award-winning actor and musician Steve Martin performing with the Steep Canyon Rangers; multi-platinum recording superstar Josh Groban; Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated star of stage and screen who has just released his debut self titled album Matthew Morrison (Glee); American Idol winner Jordin Sparks; Rock 'N Roll legend Little Richard performing with the cast of the Broadway smash hit Million Dollar Quartet; three time Tony-nominated Broadway star Kelli O'Hara; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Consistently one of the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade, A CAPITOL FOURTHbecame the top-rated program in primetime on PBS for the 2009-2010 season. The event will air in HD from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol on Monday, July 4, 2011 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our service members around the world on the American Forces Network. A CAPITOL FOURTH can also be heard live in stereo over NPR Member stations nationwide.
"It's a tremendously uplifting feeling as hundreds of thousands of Americans join together on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, singing the National Anthem as the National Symphony Orchestra plays,'" said executive producer Jerry Colbert. "As we watch the nation's capital light up with fireworks, it helps us forget our differences and remember that we are all Americans. I can't think of a better place to celebrate our freedom and the nation's birthday."
Offering viewers extended coverage of the fireworks display, A CAPITOL FOURTH will capture the stunning pyrotechnics from every vantage point with twenty TV cameras stationed around the city – including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and across the Potomac River. In celebration of America's 235th birthday, the show will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" complete with live cannon fire provided by The U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and now an A CAPITOL FOURTH tradition. Also participating in the event will be The Choral Arts Society of Washington, along with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.
Notes to Editors
The program is a co-production of Jerry Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C. For A CAPITOL FOURTH,executive producer Jerry Colbert and producer Michael Colbert have assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television's most prestigious entertainment awards shows. This includes: Emmy award-winning producer Walter C. Miller, whose credits include the GRAMMY AWARDS and COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS; award-winning director Paul Miller whose credits include the COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE; and veteran television writer Jon Macks whose credits include the TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, the ACADEMY AWARDS and the EMMY AWARDS.
Companion Web Site
A companion web site at www.pbs.org/capitolfourth will feature a comprehensive viewer's guide to the 2011 concert. Broadcast quality video footage is available at the following FTP site: http://www.capitalconcerts.org/mediacenter/cap4th/. Additional press materials can be found at www.pbs.org/pressroom. Visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/capitolfourth.
About Capital Concerts
Capital Concerts is the production force behind two of television's longest-running and highest-rated live programs commemorating America's most important holidays. THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT, the nation's tribute to our men and women in uniform, and A CAPITOL FOURTH, our country's biggest birthday party, have become American traditions that have consistently ranked among the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade. 2010 saw the programs reach new heights as these cornerstones of PBS's annual programming became the number one (A CAPITOL FOURTH) and number four (THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT) top-rated programs in primetime on the network. Both holiday specials have been honored with over 60 awards including the New York Film Festival Award, the Telly Award, the Golden Cine Award, the Videographer Award, the National Education Association Award, the Aurora Award, the Christopher Award, the Communicator's Award, the AXIEM Award, the Omni Award and the Writer's Guild of America Award.
A CAPITOL FOURTH is made possible by grants from The Boeing Company, the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of the Army, the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS and public television stations nationwide. Air travel is provided by American Airlines.
SOURCE Capital Concerts