American Voices

Artistic Director

Prior to her role as Artistic Advisor at the Kennedy Center, Renee conceived, spearheaded, and hosted the weekend-long American Voices festival there in November of 2013. Vocal masters, industry titans, and emerging artists gathered at the Kennedy Center to celebrate, explore, and debate the legacy, landscape, and future of American singing.

The Festival featured 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. 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.

American Voices Jazz Master Session Panel - Dianne Reeves - Renee Fleming - Larry Rosen - Kurt Elling - photo by Jati Lindsay