Dom Flemons & banjo

Dom Flemons is hard to describe in just a few words.

For the singer, songwriter, folklorist, musicians’ advocate and podcast host, however, “The American Songster” is just fine. Since co-founding the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005, Dom has kept countless folk tunes and styles vibrant and in the present by performing throughout the country and on many solo and collaborative recordings.

In late 2013 Dom left the Chocolate Drops to focus on his solo career, releasing the acclaimed Prospect Hill the following year. Earlier this year he kicked off the American Songster Radio Podcast, where he’s already interviewed the likes of Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Taj Mahal, and more.

Read more here.

Swallow Hill Music - Concerts and Music Classes in Denver

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The celebrations have begun and the music is underway. To celebrate this weekend’s grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage is treating visitors to a spectacular musical festival on the Washington Monument grounds. Grammy-award winning musicians 9th Wonder and Dom Flemons have already taken the stage. We’ll be updating throughout the festivities and celebrations with stories from the festival grounds.

Read more here.


More than any British folk singer of his ilk (Nic Jones, Jon Tams, Kate Rusby), Martin Simpson has striven to reconnect the strands between folk music on either side of the Atlantic. He’s been able to make such connections over the course of single albums or even, as with the interplay between Kate Rusby’s harmony vocal and Simpson’s bottleneck guitar on “Never Any Good,” a single song. Connections that elsewhere might take years and numerous performers to come to light (Aoife O’Donovan and Sara Jarosz in a Colorado forest finishing the story Kate Rusby started thirteen years before with “Some Tyrant”; Bob Dylan going perhaps further than even Nic Jones into “Canadee-I-O”) are second nature to Simpson.


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Presented by the National Park Service and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cuyahoga Valley Heritage Concerts celebrate our valley’s cultural legacy. This series is made possible thanks to the generous support of Cascade Auto Group and Cable 9.

Dom Flemons is the “American Songster,” using showmanship and humor to present old-timey folk music with innovation and flair. Flemons sings and plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum, and quills.

Single concert admission: $20 adults, $15 Conservancy members, $5 children ages 3-12. General seating. Advance sales available until 3PM on the Friday before that weekend’s show. Create your own subscription series and enjoy any three regularly priced Heritage Series concerts for one low price. Three-concert series: $50 adults, $35 Conservancy members, $15 children ages 3-12.


“Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration,” a free three-day festival, will mark the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Friday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Sept. 25. Daily programming on Friday and Sunday will run 12–5 p.m., highlighting music traditions such as jazz, R&B, gospel, folk, classical, New Orleans brass band, Afro-Latin jazz and hip-hop. Programming on Saturday will begin at 1 p.m. Each day has a theme: Friday is “Homecoming,” Saturday is “Celebration” and Sunday is “Call and Response.”

“The themes of the festival highlight the social power of African American music as a communicator of cultural values, challenges, aspirations and creative expression,” said Mark Puryear, a Smithsonian Folklife Festival program curator and co-curator of the festival.

The festival’s activities will include music and dance performances, spoken word, oral-history activities and two evening concerts. A drum circle, storytelling, interactive workshops and a mural wall by artist Cey Adams offer opportunities to explore and celebrate the museum’s rich content and stories. For a complete schedule of events, visit

Evening Concerts

Evening concerts will be presented 6–9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25. There is no evening concert Friday, Sept. 23.

The Saturday evening concert lineup features:

  • Living Colour
  • Public Enemy
  • The Roots

The Sunday evening concert includes:

  • Experience Unlimited (EU)
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • A special guest to be announced

Festival Participants

Other festival participants include the Stax Music Academy, Len Chandler, Josh White Jr., Dom Flemons, Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Original Liberty Jazz Band, Medoune Gueye, Jean Carne, the McIntosh County Shouters, Bobi Cespedes, Paito y los Gaiteros de Punta Brava, Morgan State University Choir, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Freedom Singers, Sonia Sanchez, Robert Randolph, Sweet Honey in the Rock, 9th Wonder, Stanley Clarke, Louise Toppin, the National Hand Dance Association, the National Association of Black Storytellers Inc. and Urban Artistry.

For a complete schedule of daytime and evening performances, visit

Food Concessions

  • Southern BBQ and Soul Food
  • Gulf Coast Kitchen Po’ Boys and More
  • Kenyan Curries and Caribbean Jerk

“Freedom Sounds” will be located on the Washington Monument grounds between 15th Street N.W. directly across from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and 17th Street N.W. The site entrances are at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. and 17th Street S.W. near Independence Avenue (visible from the World War II Memorial). The public will be required to go through bag checks to enter the festival grounds. On Saturday, access to select areas of the festival grounds will require magnetometer screening. Accessibility and special services such as ASL-interpretation and large-print copies of the daily schedule will be available at locations throughout the site. For more information on road closures, visit The festival site includes a large performance stage, smaller multi-use stages, a drum circle, a social-media tent and food and refreshment concessions.

“Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration” is coproduced by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Sponsors include Bank of America, Kaiser, Prudential, Target and Toyota, who provided funding for the grand-opening weekend. Special program support is provided by the Embassy of Colombia in Washington, D.C., and the Embassy of the United States in Colombia.

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