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Dr. Portia Maultsby Ph.D.

Dr. Portia Maultsby, Ph.D. is a leading ethnomusicologist who is well respected internationally for her expertise in popular music, African American music and the music industry. She will develop the translation of the museum’s script into an aesthetic interpretation designed to feature the many genres created, impacted and influenced by African Americans. She recently served as a professor at Indiana University in where she taught Folklore and Ethnomusicology and served as director of the...


Musicians Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are songster revivalists who perform acoustic blues, field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and early jazz that delights audiences in concerts and workshops nationwide. For seven years, their tours have extended their work as teachers and community organizers in their home of Seattle, Washington. With their unique integration of performance, education and modern-day folklore, this duo redefines the role of a songster in the 21st century. In 2016, they earned 1st...


Musician Kaia Kater

Kaia started her career early, crafting her first EP Old Soul (2013) when she was just out of high school. Since then, she’s gone on to release two more albums, Sorrow Bound (2015) and Nine Pin (2016). Her most recent album weaves between hard-hitting songs that touch on social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement (“Rising Down,” “Paradise Fell”) and more personal narratives speaking to life and love in the digital age (“Saint Elizabeth”). Nine Pin won a Canadian Folk Music Award,...


Keb' Mo'

Today, Steven chats with Keb' Mo.' Album after album, 14 in total, garnered him 4 GRAMMY awards and a producer/engineer/artist GRAMMY Certificate for his track on the 2001 Country Album of the Year, Hank Williams Tribute – Timeless. He has received 11 GRAMMY nominations, in total, including Country Song of the Year for “I Hope,” co-written with The Dixie Chicks, and 3 alone for his 2014 self-produced release, BLUESAmericana including Americana Album of the Year. Keb’ has also been awarded...


Professor Gwendolyn Brown of Fisk University

Gwendolyn Brown is the Assistant Professor of Voice at Fisk University. Professor Brown grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. She attended Fisk University and became part of the legendary Fisk Jubilee Singers. She completed her masters at The University of Memphis and American Conservatory of Music. Professor Brown is also an accomplished opera singer, performing at opera houses around the world, including; Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington National Opera, The New Orleans Opera, and many...


Dom Flemons, The American Songster

Grammy Award winning Dom Flemons is a co-founder of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and renowned musician. Recently, Dom released "Black Cowboys" for the Smithsonian Legacy Recordings. “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys” sheds a light on the music, culture, and the complex history of the golden era of the Wild West. In this single volume of music, the first of its kind, Dom Flemons explores and reanalyzes this important part of our American identity. The songs and poems featured on the...


NMAAM Director-In-Residence John Fleming PH.D

Steven Lewis chats with Dr. John Fleming who serves as the Director-In-Residence for the National Museum of African-American Music. Dr. Fleming discusses his involvement with the civil rights movement, his desire to pursue the clergy, and his decades of work in education and museum development.


Music Journalist and Historian Billy Altman

Billy Altman is a Grammy-nominated music critic whose work has appeared in the "New York Times," the" New Yorker," "Rolling Stone," "Esquire," and "People," A longtime editor of "Creem" and former curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he teaches a course in music and culture at New York’ s School of Visual Arts. Billy is also working in the development of NMAAM. Steven chats with Billy about some of his past music museum works, his experiences as a music journalist and some of the...