Washington, D.C. – On May 20 and 21, 2023 from 1:00PM – 5:00PM President Lincoln’s Cottage will host its biggest fundraiser of the year: Bourbon & Bluegrass. The event, which won runner-up in the ‘Best Music Festival’ category in Washington City Paper’s 2022 Best of DC reader poll, will be headlined by Dom Flemons. Called “The American Songster,” Flemons is a Grammy-winning artist with a historically-minded approach to music that aligns with the mission of the Cottage.
Flemons also headlined Bourbon & Bluegrass in 2021 when the event was virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are thrilled to welcome Dom back to the Cottage and share his contributions with our visitors,” said CEO & Executive Director, Michael Atwood Mason. “Seeing Dom perform live is a transformational experience, and the historic importance of our venue will only amplify that.”
Flemons, a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops before going solo, plays banjo, guitar, jug, harmonica, percussion, quills and rhythm bones. He is also a renowned scholar of African American contributions to bluegrass music. His Grammy-nominated album Black Cowboys was released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in conjunction with the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Flemons headlined the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016.
Last month he released an album of original music, Traveling Wildfire, which builds on his love of Americana and demonstrates his talent as a songwriter with themes of hope, humor and survival that resonate with the tenants of President Lincoln’s Cottage.
Flemons will be headlining both days and will complete a star-studded line up. On Saturday, Baltimore-based singer-songwriter Letitia VanSant will set the tone of the festival with her vibrant voice and calls for kindness and justice. VanSant’s performance will be followed by the Fly Birds, the Virginian “mountain-sirens” who have performed at the festival to much acclaim in years past.
On Sunday, Adeem the Artist will open with their Appalachian-style music that contends with issues of faith, identity, and self-acceptance. Adeem will be followed by Nora Brown, a rising young star whose music has been described as “exquisite” by the New Yorker. “We could not be more excited for this group of talented musicians who each, in their own way, address issues of social justice important to us at the Cottage,” said Mason.
The award-winning bands will provide the soundtrack to festival fun that incorporates food, history, facial hair fashion, and, of course, bourbon. Culinary highlights will include Rocklands Barbeque, Goodies Frozen Custard and Treats, and Lattimore’s Funnel Cakes. Lawn games will be played, specialty drinks consumed, and Heritage Barbers will be styling attendant beards to rival Lincoln’s. Bearded or not, history and architecture enthusiasts will enjoy exterior preservation tours with the Cottage’s Director of Preservation, Jeff Larry, and learn more about the home Lincoln loved.
All proceeds from the event support the continuing preservation of President Lincoln’s Cottage, the birthplace of the Emancipation Proclamation. “Bourbon and Bluegrass, as our biggest fundraiser, helps us to preserve this special place and keep it accessible to everyone,” said Mason. “We hope you’ll join us!”
Media contact: Rebecca Kilborne