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Knoxville Musician Lectures on Country’s African Origins

Knoxville News Sentinel   in  ยท
March 11, 2015

He’s a historian, he’s a musician and he’s coming to Knoxville.

Dom Flemons, an independent artist focusing on Americana, bluegrass and country music is lecturing and performing at the Bijou Theatre on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“All this music is now internationally relevant,” said Steve Smith, dean of libraries for the University of Tennessee. “This is not only chance to hear music performed in authentic way, but hear where it comes from.”

More than an artist, Flemons is a historian and is credited with reintroducing African-American string band music with help from his former band, Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Flemons will lecture on his research into the origins of musical instruments like the banjo and jugs.

“(Flemons) is instrumental in reminding us that the banjo is an African instrument,” Smith said. “Through both scholarship and performance, Flemons has helped us remember that this music (country and bluegrass) comes from Africa.”

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