The Kennedy Center will pay tribute to musical icon John Lennon during the 2017 Kennedy Center Spring Gala on Monday, May 8, 2017 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
The evening’s program celebrates the legendary late singer’s indelible impact on musical history from his skyrocketing start with the Beatles in 1960 through his celebrated and sometimes controversial career as a solo artist until his untimely death in 1980. His visionary albums like John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Double Fantasy, and timeless ballads such as “Give Peace a Chance,” “Working Class Hero,” and “Imagine.”
From the commercial success of the Beatles to his celebrated songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney to his marriage to artist and activist Yoko Ono, Lennon’s sound was ever-evolving to reflect his rebellious nature as an artist, his wit, and his often provocative commentary on global politics. He voiced particular criticism of the Vietnam War and some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement. Lennon was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of fame in 1987, and twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1998 as a member of the Beatles, and in 1994 as a solo artist.
The executive music director of the 2017 Spring Gala is T Bone Burnett, and the music director is David Mansfield. Full programming and casting details for the Spring Gala concert will be announced at a later date.
The Gala will also feature the second annual presentation of the Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit, commemorating the seminal contributions made by President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to cultural life in the United States. The award will recognize two recipients who have had an enduring impact on the advancement of arts and culture-one for his or her commitment to personal advocacy and philanthropy for the performing arts, and another for his or her creative use of the arts and arts education to advance and enrich community life at the local, state, or national level. The 2017 recipients of the Award for the Human Spirit will be announced at a later date.
The Spring Gala’s black-tie optional evening begins with a reception on the River Terrace at 5:45 p.m. followed by an elegant dinner on the Roof Terrace at 6:15 p.m. The Gala performance begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Concert Hall and the evening concludes with desert and dancing at the ‘Til Midnight Party for all event sponsors on the Roof Terrace.
Concert-only tickets for the 2017 Spring Gala Come Together: A Celebration of John Lennon start at $45 and may be purchased at the Kennedy Center Box Office, online, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600; patrons living outside the Washington, D.C. metropolitan calling area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324.
Tickets go on sale to members on Friday, Jan. 27, and to the general public on Monday, Jan. 30.