Dom Flemons (N.C. Folklife Area)

  • African American songster
  • Hillsborough, North Carolina

Dom Flemons has a deep feeling for old music. Drawing from ragtime, Piedmont blues, and spirituals, as well as string band, fife and drum, and jug band music, Dom shapes the sounds of America’s rich musical vernacular into a style that is both deeply rooted and unmistakably contemporary. As a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and a solo artist, Dom has become an innovative and influential part of North Carolina’s musical legacy.

Dom got his start on the Arizona folk music scene, writing and producing music and slam poetry as he honed his ear for early folk, rock, and doo-wop. As he transitioned from spoken word to music, Dom focused on early blues of the pre-World War II era and began to accumulate a multi-instrumental repertoire.

Since relocating to North Carolina, Dom has added the seldom-heard sounds of bones, quills, jug, and fife to his banjo, guitar, and harmonica, while undertaking projects that explore the importance of African Americans in string band and cowboy music. Finding new audiences and new understanding for traditional music, Dom reimagines and reinvigorates the role of the African American songster.

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