Kennedy Center Honors Lin Manuel Miranda and other Hamilton Creators

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On December 2, Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator), Alex Lacamoire (musical director), Thomas Kail (director), and Andy Blankenbuehler (choreographer) received a special first-of-its-kind award for their contribution to American culture through their hit musical, Hamilton.

Other individuals who were honored for their lifetime contribution to American culture through their performances include Wayne Shorter (composer and jazz saxophonist), Reba McEntire (country music legend), Philip Glass (pianist and composer), and Cher (pop music icon/actor-singer).

Traditionally, the Kennedy Centers recognizes individuals for their lifetime contribution and achievements. However, at the 41st annual event held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Miranda and his colleagues received a unique distinction for their award-winning Broadway show. They were identified as “trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category.”

According to David M. Rubenstein, the Chairman of the Kennedy Center, “The creators of Hamilton have literally and figuratively changed the face of American culture with daringly original, breathtakingly relevant work.” Similarly, other nominees were celebrated for representing “…the pinnacle of our nation’s originality and the rich mosaic of diverse perspectives and art forms that have come to define who we are as a people.” – Kennedy Center President, Deborah F. Rutter.

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Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, Cher, and Wayne Shorter.

  • Cher, (the subject of the new musical, The Cher Show) was recognized as a “consummate star, wowing generations of fans with her distinctive voice, blockbuster albums, and glittering on-screen presence.”
  • Wayne Shorter: “A seminal artist, defying categorization while carrying forward the mantle of jazz.” According to Jason Moran, the artistic director of Jazz at the Kennedy Center, “His sound holds a special place in the galaxy.”
  • Reba McEntire who made her Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun “Inspired us over five decades with her powerhouse voice and music that conveys heartfelt, heartwarming honesty.”
  • Philip Glass: “A modern-day Mozart whose works across opera, symphony, chamber music, and film define contemporary music and simply transfix us.”

If you missed the event hosted by Gloria Estefan, it will be subsequently broadcasted at 8 PM December 26 on CBS.

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