American Voices with Renée Fleming

(Rochester, NY) – The art of singing is center stage in our country’s popular culture: from Glee and 106 & Park to American Idol, The Voice, and Nashville, and even at sporting events and national ceremonies. This star-studded 90-minute performance documentary offers an overview of the Kennedy Center’s weekend-long American Voices festival, which was created and hosted by Renée Fleming in November of 2013. Great Performances: American Voices with Renée Fleming airs Friday, January 9, 2015 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

In American Voices with Renée Fleming, camera crews follow vocal masters, industry titans, and emerging artists as they gather at the Kennedy Center to celebrate, explore, and debate the legacy, landscape, and future of American singing.

“The festival explored, across a range of genres, the artistry, business, technology, pedagogy, and community of American singing,” said Fleming. “The idea of bringing a broad spectrum of singers together with some of most powerful music industry leaders was a dream come true for me.”

American Voices with Renée Fleming features highlights from the festival’s unique performances and educational events. During six master sessions, fledgling artists received personal one-on-one mentoring from iconic singers in a variety of genres: Eric Owens in classical, Dianne Reeves in jazz, Alison Krauss with Dr. Thomas Cleveland in country, Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles in pop, Sutton Foster in musical theater, and Kim Burrell in gospel.

Joining these acclaimed artists for the genre-spanning festival centerpiece, the American Voices Concert, were Kurt Elling, Josh Groban, Norm Lewis, and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke.

Throughout the weekend, three sessions programmed by Fleming on “Care of the Professional Voice,” “Trends in the Business and Technology of Popular Music,” and “Voice Training in the 21st Century” were presented in the Kennedy Center Atrium, intended both for music professionals—including singers, vocal coaches, teachers, agents, producers, and doctors who treat singers—and for all fans of great singing.

Pictured: Renée Fleming
Credit: Courtesy of Scott Suchman 

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