India.Arie to headline Black Girls Rock! festival at Kennedy Center

BGR!FEST makes its highly anticipated return—collaborating with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) for the very first time.

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! founder Beverly Bond and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announce multi-Grammy Award®–winning R&B icon India.Arie will headline this year’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK!FEST™ (BGR!FEST) as it makes its highly anticipated return—collaborating with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) for the very first time, June 30 and July 1, 2022, in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. This must-see event will feature multi-award-winning conductor and arranger Dr. Henry Panion III, most known for his work with superstar Stevie Wonder. Dr. Panion will lead India.Arie and the NSO in lush orchestrations of her music. Tickets ($49–$139) are available at the Kennedy Center box office, on the Kennedy Center website, or by calling (202) 467-4600.


BGR!FEST celebrates black women’s creative contributions to the world and showcases the work of stellar female artists who are masters of their craft. India.Arie’s outstanding musical talents, backed by the iconic National Symphony Orchestra, will be a magical combination of high art and healing. I am thrilled to continue to grow the BGR!FEST in partnership with the Kennedy Center,” said BLACK GIRLS ROCK! CEO and Executive Producer Beverly Bond.

“It is an honor for us to deepen our partnership with Beverly Bond and BLACK GIRLS ROCK! to present the incomparable India.Arie with the National Symphony Orchestra as part of BGR!FEST 2022,” said Simone Eccleston, Director of Hip Hop Culture and Contemporary Music at the Kennedy Center. “This weekend represents a milestone moment in the Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary Season.”

Now in its third year, BGR!FEST™ is an immersive multi-day live experience curated to celebrate the cultural contributions of Black women artists, thought leaders, and creatives. Additional artists, speakers, and events to be announced.

A deeply generous performer known for her velvet-rich alto, India.Arie is a true believer in the power of words and music to spread love, healing, peace, and joy. She is respected worldwide by her fans and the music industry community for her incredible talent as a singer, songwriter, and performer. She earned seven Grammy® nominations for her 2001 double-platinum debut Acoustic Soul featuring the hit single “Video,” followed in by the platinum-selling and critically acclaimed album Voyage to India, the gold-certified Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, and its sequel Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics.  

With over 10 million albums sold worldwide, the award-winning artist has performed at the Kennedy Center Honors, the NAACP Awards and the Grammy Awards®. Her songs have been featured in motion pictures including A Shark’s TaleDiary of a Mad Black Woman, and Sex and the City. She has played alongside Stevie Wonder, Sting, Elton John, Bette Midler, Michael McDonald, and many others.

Celebrity DJ, CEO, and founder of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Beverly Bond established BGR!FEST™ as a complementary platform to the BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ brand, furthering its mission to create spaces for Black women-centered content and uplifting the groundbreaking women who stretch the boundaries of creativity, artistic expression, and innovation. Past BGR!FEST™ events include sold-out concerts with Ms. Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Alice Smith, Rapsody, and more.

About Hip Hop Culture at the Kennedy Center
With Hip Hop Culture serving as one of our nation’s greatest cultural assets and ambassadors, the Hip Hop Culture programs at the Kennedy Center recognize hip hop’s contributions to global culture and its power to build and transform communities through art and action. Through this programmatic platform, the Center aims to create a dynamic home for Hip Hop Culture and celebrate hip hop’s role as a catalyst for innovation, exploration, and transformation with a dynamic mix of performances, humanities events, film screenings, workshops and interactive experiences, in person and online. The Kennedy Center appointed iconic rapper, producer, and DJ Q-Tip as its first Artistic Director of Hip Hop Culture (2016); 2017 saw LL COOL J become the first hip hop artist ever awarded a Kennedy Center Honors; and in 2018, the Center’s Hip Hop Culture Council was founded. The Roots currently serve as the Hip Hop Culture program’s inaugural Artists-in-Residence. To learn more about the Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture program, please visit here.

The Presenting Sponsor of NSO Pops is AARP. This performance is presented by Wells Fargo. Major support is provided by Boeing and Universal Music Group.

COVID Safety: Masks are required for all patrons inside all theaters during performances at the Kennedy Center unless actively eating or drinking. See Kennedy Center’s complete COVID Safety Plan here.


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