Lizzo borrowed a priceless crystal flute that belonged to James Madison from Library of Congress

Source: Hot Air

Consider this a palate cleanser because I’m not exactly sure what I think about it. Pop singer and flutist Lizzo borrowed a priceless crystal flute from the Library of Congress to play during her concert at the Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night.

Lizzo (real name Melissa Jefferson) visited the Library of Congress on Monday to see the flute collection. The visit followed a tweet posted by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, tagging Lizzo, after Hayden learned that Lizzo would be doing a concert in D.C. She wanted Lizzo to know about the collection of world-class flutes. “Like your song,” she tweeted, “they are ‘Good as hell.’ ” I’m pretty sure she just wanted to meet Lizzo, but, it makes a nice story. Hayden invited Lizzo to “drop by and play a few bars.”

One of about 1,700 flutes in the collection, she teased, is the crystal flute made for President James Madison by Claude Laurent — a priceless instrument that Dolley Madison rescued from the White House in April 1814 as the British entered Washington, DC during the War of 1812.. Might she want to drop by and play a few bars?

Lizzo did a hair toss, checked her nails and took to Twitter herself. The 34-year-old has been training on the flute since she was a child. As a college student, she played in the University of Houston marching band. She even performed online with the New York Philharmonic orchestra during the pandemic.

“IM COMING CARLA! AND I’M PLAYIN THAT CRYSTAL FLUTE!!!!!” she tweeted the next day.

According to Carla’s blog post, Lizzo was escorted by Carla and the Music Division staff into the flute vault and given a tour. The curators in the Music Division made sure the crystal flute could be played safely before Lizzo arrived. I had no idea that priceless instruments at the Library of Congress were occasionally played. Carla explained that Lizzo was very careful with the flute. It’s a good way to introduce a new generation to America’s cultural heritage, she said.

Lizzo reverently took Madison’s crystal flute in hand and blew a few notes. This isn’t easy, as the instrument is more than 200 years old. She blew a few more when she was in the Great Hall and Main Reading Room. Then, reaching for a more practical flute from the collection, she serenaded employees and a few researchers. It filled the space with music as sublime as the art and architecture.

Cameras snapped and video rolled. For your friendly national library, this was a perfect moment to show a new generation how we preserve the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Library’s vision is that all Americans are connected to our holdings. We want people to see them.

So when Lizzo asked if she could play the flute at her Tuesday concert in front of thousands of fans, the Library’s collection, preservation and security teams were up the challenge. When an item this valuable leaves any museum or library, for loan or display in an exhibition, preservation and security are the priorities. At the Library, curators ensure that the item can be transported in a customized protective container and a Library curator and security officer are always guarding the item until it is secured once more.

There was special security involved. The Library curtor Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford walked the flute onstage and handed it to Lizzo. She remained onstage and then Lizzo returned it to her.

As some of y’all may know I got invited to the Library of Congress,” Lizzo said, after placing her own flute (named Sasha Flute) down on its sparkling pedestal, which had emerged minutes earlier from the center of the stage. Following the aforementioned, highly popular Twitter exchange between Lizzo the Librarian of Congress, the crowd knew what was coming.

“I want everybody to make some noise for James Madison’s crystal flute, y’all!” They made more noise than the instrument, having been at the Library for 81 years, has been exposed to in quite some time. Maybe ever.

She took it gingerly from Ward-Bamford’s hands, walked over to the mic and admitted: “I’m scared.” She also urged the crowd to be patient. “It’s crystal, it’s like playing out of a wine glass!”

Lizzo played just a few notes on the flute, “trilling” the instrument, but she threw her signature twerk into the short performance, sending the audience into a fresh frenzy.

“We just made history tonight!” she exclaimed. “Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history freaking cool! History is freaking cool you guys!”

Yes, Lizzo, history is freaking cool. Real history, not the made-up stories told in classrooms today to appease social justice warriors with grievances. Maybe someone in that audience decided to learn about James Madison after seeing that crystal flute, who knows? It could happen.

Lizzo posted the performance on Instagram. “Bitch, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute!” And there you go – pop star discovers history.