PBS National Memorial Day Concert performers list

MONARCH: Trace Adkins in the MONARCH episode airing Tuesday, Sep. 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.
MONARCH: Trace Adkins in the MONARCH episode airing Tuesday, Sep. 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX. /

It’s a big holiday weekend as Memorial Day signals the end of the regular TV season, but some specials are about. One of the biggest is the 34th Annual National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. So who’s performing for this big event celebrating America? Find out here!

Since 1989, thousands of Americans have flocked to the West Lawn of the United States Capitol building every Memorial Day weekend for a huge concert event. It gathers a mix of U.S. military bands and popular entertainers to celebrate the U.S. armed forces. The concert has been a mainstay on PBS and broadcast to the Armed Services Channel as well.

The concert did have to take a break from live crowds in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, although it did still stream performances. 2022 saw it return to live crowds, and it’s expected to once more be a big house for this year.

As always, the concert has a great mix of talent that presents some special performances to make this a fine return to form for the event.

Who’s performing at the National Memorial Day Concert?

The 90-minute broadcast will be hosted by Tony winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy-award winner Gary Sinise. It should be noted the Concert is exempt from the current WGA strike. Per the official press release, the segments will include:

  • Paying Tribute to Gold Star Families – with Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson (Chicago Med); SAG Award-winning and Emmy nominated actor Dulé Hill (The Wonder Years) and acclaimed actor and singer Chosen Jacobs (It). The concert will remember our fallen heroes and the Gold Star families who carry forever the pain of having lost their loved ones.
  • 50th Anniversary Return of Vietnam War POWs – featuring SAG Award-winning and Emmy-nominated actor and director John Slattery (Mad Men) and Tony Award-nominated actress Mary McCormack (The West Wing). American POWs of the Vietnam War endured unfathomable conditions, abuse, and torture. Fifty years after their release, the concert will share the story of Col. Carlyle “Smitty” Harris (Ret.), who was imprisoned by the North Vietnamese for 8 years while his wife Louise stayed resilient and strong on the home front.
  • 70th Anniversary Korean War Armistice pays tribute to the anniversary of the end of the Korean War conflict.
  • World War II Remembrance – Tony-award nominee Megan Hilty hosts an honor of the veterans of World War II. This special segment will also feature a tribute to the contributions of the Merchant Marines in the war.

Also appearing are Trace Adkins; Iraq War Army veteran Michael Trotter, Jr. and Tonya Trotter: The War And Treaty; five-time Grammy Award-winning Gospel legend Yolanda Adams; Jo Dee Messina; multi-platinum singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.

Where can you watch the National Memorial Day Concert?

The National Memorial Day Concert airs on PBS Sunday, May 28, 2023, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. E.T., as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. The concert will also be streaming on PBS’s website and YouTube and available as Video on Demand from May 28 to June 11, 2023.

With the great lineup of stars and a patriotic feel, the Concert should be a splendid way to celebrate the armed services that protect our nation and a good range of music to boot.

The National Memorial Day Concert airs on PBS Sunday, May 28, 2023, at 8/7c.

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