BWW TV: Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of the 2008 Tony Award winning musical In The Heights, was a special guest as President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the first ever White House Poetry Jam.
Miranda, accompanied by fellow Tony Winner Alex Lacamoire, performed "The Hamilton Mixtape" at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009. The president and first lady hosted "an evening celebrating poetry, music and the spoken word" in the East Room of the White House, an event put together by the Social Secretary's office. Other performers for the evening included legendary actor James Earl Jones and well-known writers (and husband and wife) Michael Chabon, a Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist, and Ayelet Waldman.
Also performing was a young and dynamic lineup: jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, jazz pianist Eric Lewis, and spoken word performer Mayda del Valle. Joining them all were two of the finalists in the HBO Brave New Voices national teen poetry slam competition: Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio of "Team Hawaii" and Joshua Brandon Bennett of "Team Philadelphia."
Lin-Manuel Miranda won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score for In the Heights. He wrote the first incarnation of In the Heights during his sophomore year at Wesleyan University, CT. Off-Broadway: In the Heights: nine Drama Desk nominations, including Best Music, Best Lyrics and won the award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance; the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical; the Obie Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics; a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance and the Clarence Derwent Award, both for Mr. Miranda's performance. He is the recipient of the 2007 ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award.