The Performers of the National Memorial Day Concert 2021 | WTTW Chicago

The Performers of the National Memorial Day Concert 2021

Daniel Hautzinger
An audience member stands for the national anthem at a previous broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert. Photo: Capitol Concerts
An audience member stands for the national anthem at a previous broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert. Photo: Capitol Concerts

The National Memorial Day Concert is available to stream.

The 32nd annual National Memorial Day Concert may not yet be a return to pre-COVID 19 normal, given that it is pre-taped instead of the traditional live concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, but it is still taking place to help families celebrate and honor servicemen and -women. 

Here are the performers and others who will appear in this National Memorial Day Concert.

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise. Photo: Capitol ConcertsPhoto: Capitol Concerts

These two hard-bitten Chicagoland natives have hosted the National Memorial Day Concert for a number of years. Both actors got their start in Chicago’s theater scene—Mantegna won his break in a production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glenn Ross, Sinise co-founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company—and later played cops on TV shows: Sinise on CSI: NY, Mantegna on Criminal Minds

General Colin L. Powell

General Colin Powell. Photo: Capitol ConcertsPhoto: Capitol Concerts

A retired four-star general, Powell served in the upper echelons of government for decades, including as Secretary of State under George W. Bush. 

Gladys Knight

Gladys KnightPhoto: Capitol Concerts

The "Empress of Soul" has won seven Grammys and recorded numerous hits, such as "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" alongside her band the Pips, as well as the theme song for the James Bond film Licence to Kill, among much other music. 

Alan Jackson

Alan JacksonPhoto: Russ Harrington

One of the best-selling music artists of all time, Jackson is a neotraditional country singer and songwriter who has nine records that have gone multiplatinum, two Grammys, and membership in the Grand Ole Opry and numerous halls of fame.

Mickey Guyton

Mickey Guyton Photo: Capitol Concerts

Guyton is a young country artist who released her debut EP in 2015 but achieved widespread notice last year when she released her song "Black Like Me" during protests and a racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd. 

Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles Photo: Shervin Lainez

Bareilles has had a varied career, from her performances of her own hit songs, to composing and starring in the popular Broadway musical Waitress, to acting as a judge on The Sing-Off and appearing in the new sitcom Girls5eva.

Vince Gill

Vince GillPhoto: Capitol Concerts

From his initial fame as the frontman of Pure Prairie League to his solo career and starring guest appearances with Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss, The Eagles, and others, Gill has had an impressive career. 

Joe Morton

Joe MortonPhoto: Capitol Concerts

Morton is an actor who has appeared in TV, film, and stage productions, from Shonda Rhimes' Scandal to Netflix's The PoliticianSpeed to Of Mice and Men to Justice League. He will honor the 70th anniversary of the Korean War and the people who served during it, including an all-Black company, in the National Memorial Day Concert. 

Steve Buscemi

The wide-ranging Buscemi has been behind numerous iconic roles over his career: in Coen brothers movies like Fargo and The Big Lebowski, in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, in the Martin Scorsese series Boardwalk Empire and as a character actor in comedies and dramas across the media landscape. He will host a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of September 11 during the National Memorial Day Concert.

Mary McCormack

Mary McCormack. Photo: Capitol ConcertsPhoto: Capitol Concerts

McCormack is a veteran National Memorial Day Concert performer. She has appeared in TV shows such as The West Wing and The Kids Are Alright as well as various films, including Deep Impact and True Crime. She will take part in a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of September 11 during the National Memorial Day Concert.

The Four Tops

Four TopsPhoto: Capitol Concerts

Founded in 1953 as the Four Aims, they achieved fame as The Four Tops in the mid-sixties with hits like “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” on the Motown record label. Their line-up remained the same for 44 years, but now Abdul “Duke” Fakir is the only surviving founding member.

Bailee Madison

Bailee Madison. Photo: Cibelle LeviPhoto: Cibelle Levi

Only 21 years old, Madison has already starred in movies like The Bridge to Terabithia and television series like The Wizards of Waverly PlaceOnce Upon a Time, and The Fosters. She will take part in a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of September 11 during the National Memorial Day Concert.

Brian d'Arcy James

Brian d'Arcy JamesPhoto: Capitol Concerts

D'Arcy James is primarily a Broadway actor known for Shrek: The Musical, Something Rotten, and Hamilton, but he has also appeared in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and the movie Spotlight.

Kathy Baker

Kathy BakerPhoto: Capitol Concerts

Baker is perhaps best known for her role in the TV series Picket Fences, but she has also appeared in Edward ScissorhandsTouched by an Angel, The Cider House Rules, Saving Mr. Banks, and much more. She will honor women and nurses who served during the Vietnam War era during the National Memorial Day Concert.

Denyce Graves

Denyce GravesPhoto: Capitol Concerts

A mezzo-soprano, Graves is an opera singer whose signature roles are the title role in Carmen and Delilah in Samson and Delilah. She has also premiered several opera roles and sung at numerous patriotic occasions, including while Ruth Bader Ginsburg's casket lied in state.

The National Symphony Orchestra and Jack Everly

The evening is rounded out by Washington’s National Symphony under the baton of Jack Everly, who is in demand around the world as a pops conductor. They are a stalwart regular of the National Memorial Day Concert.

U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, Chorus, Voices, and Band Downrange; U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters; U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants; Soldiers' Chorus of the United States Army Field Band 

The National Memorial Day Concert also spotlights music from the people it celebrates: the United States Armed Forces, in various ensembles.