PBS’ ‘A Capitol Fourth’ To Be Hosted By Alfonso Ribeiro; Lineup Includes Smokey Robinson, Fantasia, Darren Criss And Sheila E.

PBS’s A Capitol Fourth is returning for the 44th year, with Alfonso Ribeiro hosting the annual Independence Day event on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

The 90-minute celebration, to air at 8 p.m. ET on July 4, will feature performances by Smokey Robinson; Fantasia; Darren Criss; Sheila E.; Fitz & Noelle from Fitz and The Tantrums; Chloe Flower; Sister Sledge, now featuring Sledgendary; Loren Allred; Britt Stewart; Shawn Johnson East; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jack Everly.

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Some of the highlights planned: Ribeiro and Stewart will kick off the event with a special performance, and Johnson East will host a tribute to Team USA in advance of the Summer Olympic Games in Paris. That segment will include the National Symphony performing John Williams’ “Olympic Fanfare,” composed for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Robinson will perform for a celebration of Motown’s 65th anniversary.

The U.S. Army Chorus will perform in a salute to servicemembers and military families, with an appearance by a World War II veteran of D-Day and Mae Krier, an original “Rosie the Riveter.” Flower will perform George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue’ on its 100th anniversary. A rendition of the “1812 Overture” along with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery, will kick off the finale and fireworks, capped by the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets.

In addition to PBS, A Capitol Fourth will be broadcast on the American Forces Network and streamed on YouTube and at www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth. It will be available on demand through July 18.

Other participants include members of the Armed Forces carrying state and territorial flags, the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C., the Choral Arts Society of Washington and Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music.

The special is a co-production of Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C.

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