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NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER: The Roots Residency

The Roots
Jati Lindsay
/
PBS
The Roots

Premieres Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 + Monday, Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV / PBS Video app

The third episode of NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER will feature the Grammy Award-winning hip hop group The Roots. Anchored by an unforgettable concert in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, the special explores how The Roots continue to push the boundaries of their art form while using their platform as the inaugural artist-in-residence of the Center’s Hip Hop Culture Program to foster the next generation of cultural leaders.

Next At The Kennedy Center: The Roots Residency Preview
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Known for electrifying live performances that blend hip hop, jazz, rap, soul and funk, The Roots regularly sell out concert venues when they’re not serving as the house band for THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON. “The Roots Residency” takes music fans beyond the stage, coupling live concert footage with a look at the band's curatorial endeavors, masterclasses and humanitarian activities from their residency at the Kennedy Center. Respected cultural trailblazers, frontmen Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter are committed to inspiring and educating rising artists.

The Roots Perform "Proceed" at the Kennedy Center

Viewers will meet EZY Truth, a Washington, D.C.-based hip hop artist and member of Black Thought’s “School of Thought,” a mentoring program for aspiring emcees. They’ll hear from Durrand Bernarr, an emerging R&B artist who participated in “The Road to the Roots Picnic,” a series of curated live performances that launched virtually during the pandemic. The episode also includes moments from “Music is History,” Questlove’s discussion with Reverend Al Sharpton about the drummer’s latest book, as well as Black Thought’s “Streams of Thought” conversation with photographer David Allen.

Emerging Artist EZY Truth Performs "Revolution"

“The Roots have existed at the forefront of culture for over three decades. They are deeply committed to ensuring that generations of artists and communities see themselves powerfully reflected through their work and at venerable institutions like the Kennedy Center,” said Simone Eccleston, the Center’s director of hip hop culture and contemporary music. “‘The Roots Residency’ is a testament to their capacity to not only change the lives of individuals but also to transform institutions. The impact of our partnership is that we are forever changed as an organization. Through their residency, The Roots have created powerful platforms for the celebration of multihyphenates, cultural leaders and emerging artists. We hope that viewers experience their genius as performers, curators and cultural catalysts.”

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The Roots Perform "Act Too (Love of My Life)"

Watch On Your Schedule:

NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER “The Roots Residency” premieres Friday, Jan.27, 2023 on KPBS, PBS.org, and the PBS Video app.

The series premiere, “Let My Children Hear Mingus,” and “A Joni Mitchell Songbook,” are available on demand with KPBS Passport, a benefit for members supporting KPBS at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

The Roots: Amir "Questlove" Thompson.
Jati Lindsay
/
KC1CT192
The Roots: Amir "Questlove" Thompson.

About The Series:

This new series of primetime performance specials, shines a spotlight on the Center’s contemporary culture program, bringing the best of the nation’s stage to viewers across the country. Captured to match the unique style of the artists, each episode of NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER weaves together performances filmed live at the Kennedy Center with intimate off-stage moments and first-person commentary.

School of Thought: Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter andEZY Truth.
Jati Lindsay
/
PBS
School of Thought: Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter andEZY Truth.

Credits:

A production of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Matthew Winer is the showrunner and executive producer for the Kennedy Center. Kristin Fosdick directs the series with her team in the Kennedy Center’s multimedia department. Elizabeth O’Neil is the associate director of content and strategy for PBS. 

The Road to Roots Picnic
Jati Lindsay
/
PBS
The Road to Roots Picnic