Photo: Timothy Duffy
Dom Flemons is known as The American Songster® since his repertoire covers over one hundred years of American roots music. He is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music scholar, actor, slam poet, record collector, and the creator, host, and producer of American Songster Radio Show on WSM in Nashville, Tennessee. He is considered an expert player on the banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife, and rhythm bones.
Flemons is a fifth-generation Black and Mexican native of Phoenix, Arizona, with a degree in English from Northern Arizona University. In 2022, he received a honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater for his commitment and contributions to the arts and education.
As a solo artist, he has toured over a million miles all across America and has had a successful tour throughout Canada, Ireland, the U.K., Spain, France, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, and Malaysia. He has represented America at internationally acclaimed venues and festivals.
In 2018, Flemons released a solo album on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings titled Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys which is part of the African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The album peaked at #4 and spent over 55 weeks on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts. He also had his solo debut on the Grand Ole Opry, during a night with Carrie Underwood and Old Crow Medicine Show.
In 2020, Flemons was selected for the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship Award for the Traditional Arts category, which was generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Last year, Flemons made his debut as a creator, host, and producer on Nashville's country music radio station WSM, where he released season three of American Songster Radio Show. Flemons curates a special hour-long monthly program that presents exclusive music selections from his personal record collection along with conversations with musical guests who are prominent in the American roots music genres.
This year, Flemons released his highly anticipated solo album Traveling Wildfire on Smithsonian Folkways label which includes original songs along with a 50-page liner notes booklet designed with custom artwork, tintype photos, and images taken by world renowned photographers. His new four-part documentary series The Real Wild West also premiered on the online documentary channel CuriosityStream. As the narrator and a commentator on the series, Flemons guides viewers through this definitive story of the American West, where a diverse group of pioneers shaped a country and built the foundation for modern America.
Dom and his wife and creative partner, Vania Kinard, have one daughter and are based in Illinois.