Jenee Fleenor / Courtesy
Award-winning fiddle player and Springdale native Jenee Fleenor sure has done a lot to make her community proud.
The two-time Country Music Association Musician of the year – and we might add, the only woman to ever win the award – is considered to be leading the fiddle revival in country music in the modern era.
As the fiddle player in country superstar Blake Shelton’s band, as well as a performer with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and as a member of the house band on NBC’s The Voice, she has entertained millions with her unique talent.
She has toured with the Martina McBride and Terri Clark, and recorded with Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Trace Atkins, Rascal Flatts, Don Williams, Cody Johnson, and countless others. She has written songs for Dolly Parton, Shelton, Del McCoury, and others.
She’s a pretty big deal.
So much so, in fact, that the community of Springdale is planning three days of celebrations in honor of Jenee at a series of events set for June 25-27.
The events kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 25 at the NWA Old Time Fiddlers Jam to be held at the Apollo on Emma in Springdale.
After that, Fleenor will serve as Grand Marshal of the Rodeo of the Ozarks parade during the afternoon on Saturday, June 26, where she’ll later perform the National Anthem to open the rodeo that evening.
The celebration will culminate on at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 27 with a free concert starring Fleenor and Friends, including Jimmy Fortune, Mike Rogers, and Barry Bales at Walter Turnbow Park.
Fleenor grew up in Springdale, and attended Lee Elementary before graduating from Springdale High School.
She began taking violin lessons as a child, but soon discovered bluegrass and western swing music, and fell in love. She moved to Nashville for college, but quickly found that her talent for the fiddle was in high-demand in the music city, and decided to quit school to focus on her music career.
Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said Fleenor’s talent for music made an impact on him, even when she was a child.
“I remember Jenee as a young girl, playing her violin in the orchestra and for special music at church,” Sprouse said. “I know the people of Springdale join me in honoring Jenee; not only for the artist she has become, but for the person she is. Jenee is truly a jewel from Springdale and we look forward to celebrating her.”
The Jenee Fleenor Hometown Celebration is a collaboration between several organizations in the community, including the Arkansas State Old Time Fiddlers Association (Northwest Chapter), Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE), Downtown Springdale Alliance, Natural State Rock and Republic, Rodeo of the Ozarks, Springdale Chamber of Commerce, Springdale Mayor’s Office and The Apollo on Emma. The series is sponsored by Slim Chickens, Tyson Family Foundation, and Cram-A-Lot.
The full schedule for the celebration is below.
For a bit more information, visit downtownspringdale.org.
Jenee Fleenor Hometown Celebration
NWA Old Time Fiddlers Jam
Date: Friday, June 25
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Apollo on Emma
Date: Saturday, June 26
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Emma Avenue
Rodeo of the Ozarks (Jenee will perform the National Anthem)
Date: Saturday, June 26
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Parsons Stadium
Tickets: Get tickets
Jenee Fleenor & Friends in Concert
(feat. Jimmy Fortune, Mike Rogers and Barry Bales)
Date: Sunday, June 27
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Walter Turnbow Park