Farewell, President Obama: When New Orleans Music Came to the White House

No matter where you stand politically, it’s impossible to deny that President Obama has used the White House as a platform for musical performance to a greater degree than his predecessors. Over the past eight years, the 44th President of the United States has brought countless artists to his home and office for a series of concerts that have celebrated America’s diverse musical history.

One performer who has made a few appearances at the White House is New Orleans icon Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. The Treme native dropped by in 2012 for a funky rendition of the jazz standard “St. James Infirmary” during the Red, White, and Blues gala, and he returned in 2016 for an even funkier “Fire on the Bayou.” Other New Orleans artists that have appeared at the White House include the Rebirth Brass Band and Terence Blanchard.

Barack Obama’s second term as President of the United States will come to an end tomorrow, marking his return to life as a private citizen. Back in 2015, on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, he told the people of New Orleans that he wanted to see Rebirth’s famed Tuesday night residency at the Maple Leaf after he left office. Mr. President, we hope you do.

“St. James Infirmary” with Trombone Shorty

“Fire on the Bayou” with Trombone Shorty

And finally, President Obama himself with Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and the late B.B. King