Dom to Peform at the Three-Day Festival Celebrating the Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture


“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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Musician Dom Flemons Appreciates History, Libraries And Fine Songs

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Dom Flemons grew up in Arizona and almost from the start was fascinated by folk music. And, very often, the music he loved best wasn’t widely available and so, in those pre-Internet days, Flemons would have to seek out the music armed only with a phone book and a library card.

“You would hear about a recording and then you would have to try to find where someone had that recording, so you’d have to hit up all the record shops and ask if they had it,” Flemons says. “The library was always important for me. In Phoenix, Arizona, where I’m originally from, the library happened to be a big library. They had just put some extra funding into it to make it a huge library. So they had a big amount of CDs when I was growing up.”

Flemons educated himself on the music of the past by watching documentaries on public television. Each documentary led to a search for more music.

“Every time that I would watch a documentary I would try to find CDs by the people that I heard about,” he says. “You just get names and you get stories to associate with those names. At that time, I used to find as much historical footage as I could of different musicians. Nowadays, we have YouTube and stuff like that. It’s not quite as arduous of a task to go into the library, find every video that they have and see if you can find that little clip. But it’s still a search that can be quite fulfilling if you’re looking for that special little footage that you hear on record. Just to see them visually, you’re able to take in the music in a whole different way.”

Read more here. 

Huffington Post Feature: Musicians Corner

57b605cb1800001b00bcb9d2This festival celebrates the components of live music festivals for FREE! For seven years, crowds have gathered in Nashville’s Centennial Park to watch over 750 artists and legends bring the house down.  Some of those include EmmyLou Harris, Vince Gill, The Blind oys of Alabama and Grammy Award Winning artist, Dom Flemons.


Let’s take a moment to appreciate how legendary and live this festival is.  One of the most recent showings headlined Dom Flemons. He plays a plethora of instruments that can fix any souls sully strings.  Dom Flemons can simply rebuild your spirit.  Read more here.