|On Thursday, December 8th, The Smithsonian Institution presented the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal to recent Music Connection cover artist Susan Tedeschi during a special ceremony at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Medals were also presented to Dave Grohl, Gloria and Emilio Estefan. |
Tedeschi received the award for “her embodiment of the American Experience through music; for imbuing the American soundtrack with songs that transcend from grief to joy; for staying true to her art form and for using her voice to share stories of hope in advocating for a better world.”
In her remarks upon accepting the medal, Tedeschi acknowledged many of her influences and mentors.
|“It’s such an incredible honor to be given the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal and be part of this community,” she stated. “Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do what your dreams are because you can. I started playing guitar just to prove the point that women can play guitar. Thank you to all the teachers like my great-aunt Josephine Sabino, an opera singer. She taught me to how to breathe properly and Dennis Montgomery III from the Reverence Gospel Ensemble at Berklee School of Music for giving me the belief that music does transcend color and race.Thank you to my band, my family, and to my musician friends that I’ve played with over the years- thank you so much for your contributions to music. To Willie Nelson and B.B. King for taking me under their wing and giving me the opportunities that they did. And Buddy Guy and Toots Hibbert from Toots & the Maytals for letting me record with them and live my dreams. To all the people that you learn from that become a part of you and your sound - everyone from Mahalia Jackson to Aretha Franklin to Linda Ronstadt. And to the Allman Brothers Band for inviting me to tour with them and where I met my husband. That changed my life.”The James Smithson Bicentennial Medal was established in 1965 in honor of the 200th anniversary of Smithson’s birth. It is presented under the Secretary of the Smithsonian’s authority to persons who have made distinguished contributions to the advancement of areas of interest to the Institution. The awards are part of the spotlight the museum is placing on music, theater, film, television and sports as it opens its first long-term exhibition focused on entertainment history, “Entertainment Nation”/“Nación del espectáculo.”|
Left to Right: Anthea M. Hartig, Elizabeth MacMillan Director, National Museum of American History; Steve Case, Smithsonian Regent, Susan Tedeschi, Dave Grohl, Gloria Estefan, Emilio Estefan and far right, Enrique Segura, Chair, National Museum of American History Board. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American History