Gardens tunes up for Great Lawn Folk Festival

Carolina Chocolate Drops founder Dom Flemons headlines concert in Downtown OKC

The Great Lawn concert, an evening of brilliant folk music featuring Carolina Chocolate Drops founder Dom Flemons, will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22 at the Great Lawn and Bandshell at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W Reno. The free event, sponsored by the Ad Astra Foundation, will feature local food trucks for a perfect evening of entertainment under the stars.

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Flemons founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005 with singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, and the group quickly found a sizeable audience with its spirited approach to the Piedmont-style traditional music of the Carolinas. In 2006, the group released its debut album, Dona Got a Ramblin’ Mind, which brought the group to the attention of actor-director Denzel Washington and producer Oprah Winfrey, who included the group’s music in the acclaimed 2007 film The Great Debaters. Acclaim for subsequent releases, including Flemons 2009 solo album, American Songster, led to a record deal with Nonesuch, which released 2010’s Joe Henry-produced Genuine Negro Jig, a Grammy winner for Best Traditional Folk Album.

Following 2012’s Leaving Eden, Flemons announced his departure for a solo career. In 2014, he released Prospect Hill, a richly varied collection of traditional and original songs, ranging from the yearning folk of “Too Long I’ve Been Gone” to the traditional jazz rave-up “’Til The Seas Run Dry.” Flemons told USA Today that the album is “a continuation of the work I’ve done for years. It’s just a natural bridge into the next part of my career.” Flemons is currently working on a concept album about African-American cowboys.

Opening act Steelwind, featuring Oklahomans Blake Parks and Michael Henneberry, released their debut album of original bluegrass, Sound of a Train, in 2010. The group sold out its April 2016 album release party for its most recent release, F5.

Before the concert, enjoy food, ice cream and handcrafted popsicles from Pitchfork in the Park or several popular food trucks including Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks, Blue Donkey Tacos, Healthy Hippo, Metro Minis and Katie Bugs Shaved Ice. Beer and wine will be available onsite.

Admission is free. VIP tickets, featuring front row reserved seating and one drink ticket, are $35. Tickets will be available for sale online soon.