Multi-Instrumentalist, Historian, and Songster
The American Songster
Silver Spring, MD
2020 USA Fellow
This award was generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Dom Flemons, Grammy Award recipient, two-time Emmy nominee, and 2019 Washington Area Music Award winner, is originally from Phoenix, AZ, and currently lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife Vania Kinard and their daughter Cheyanne Love.
Flemons is called “The American Songster” because his musical repertoire covers over one hundred years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. He is a songwriter, music scholar, historian, record collector, and a multi-instrumentalist. He is an expert player of the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, and rhythm bones.
In 2018, he released his Grammy-nominated solo album Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in conjunction with the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Flemons was nominated for two Emmys at the 2018 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Mid-America Awards for PBS Episode “Songcraft Presents Dom Flemons” and for the co-written song “Good Old Days” with Songwriter Ben Arthur.
He was the first Artist-in-Residence at the Making American Music Internship Program at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in the summer of 2018. Flemons is currently serving as a Governor on the Board of Directors for the Washington, DC chapter of the Recording Academy.
Portrait photo by Timothy Duffy.