The White House decided late Monday to postpone the taping of a program celebrating Latin music, citing a morning shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least 12 people dead.
“In light of today’s tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard and out of respect for the victims and their families, Musica Latina will be postponed to a new date,” said the announcement about an hour and a half before President Barack Obama was to kick off the festivities in the White House East Room.
A new date for “Musica Latina: In Performance at the White House” was not immediately announced.
Gloria Estefan, Romeo Santos, Lila Downs, Marco Antonio Solis, Natalie Cole and other musicians were to join Obama and Michelle Obama for a taping of the latest installment in the decades-old series. Coming at the start of the monthlong celebration of Hispanic heritage, the concert was to showcase the various styles of Latin music.
Other artists scheduled to perform were Ricky Martin, Price Royce, Arturo Sandoval, Raul Malo, Alejandro Sanz and Natalie Cole.
At a White House event earlier Monday, the first lady said the beats and melodies in Latin music are so irresistible that even the president would “shake his groove thing” Monday night. But the prospect of seeing Obama jiggle his hips grew increasingly unlikely as the death toll mounted and other events around town were postponed.
At the Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced that he was adjourning the Senate and postponing votes until Tuesday. The Washington Nationals baseball team also postponed its Monday night series opener against the Atlanta Braves and will now play a doubleheader on Tuesday.
When it is rescheduled, “Musica Latina: In Performance at the White House,” will be the 12th installment in the series produced by the local PBS television station since 1978. Every president since Jimmy Carter has participated in the series.
Since Obama took office in 2009, the program has celebrated the music of Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Carol King, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Hispanic music, music from the civil-rights era, Motown, the blues, Memphis soul, Broadway music and country ballads.