Pamela Fleming - Fearless Dreamer

Pamela Fleming
Photo © 1998 Chris Whitehead

Pamela Fleming is an exceptionally emotional and liquidly lyrical trumpet / flugelhorn player and composer. In 1991 she formed her group, Fearless Dreamer. Their self entitled debut CD has to be heard to understand the complete scope of its wondrous musical journey. The music of Fearless Dreamer explores the spectrum of all human feeling from "trance to dance". Pam's voice adds an additional texture to the moody dreamscapes she weaves. Her original compositions are sure to transport your mind to another place in time.

Although this recording is mostly instrumental, lyrics are very important to Pam, as her influences are mainly singers, like Jon Anderson, Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Seal . . . - the harmonies of Dan Fogelberg, Crosby-Stills-Nash & Young, Grateful Dead, and the progressive / classical rock groups: Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer. Other inspirations come from Oregon, Paul McCandless, Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Winter, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Mussorgsky, Debussy, Ravel and Bartok.

After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, Pamela moved to New York City in 1980, and soon formed THIRD WIND with fellow Eastman musician, Paula M. Kimper, performing their original horn influenced pop songs. Shortly after, she became part of a minimalist / eclectic synth ensemble called ANOMY performing at venues such as New York City's Mudd Club and The Kitchen. This music highlighted Pam on electric trumpet, synthesizer and spoken word.

In 1985 she merged with saxophonist, Jenny Hill and trombonist Nilda Richards as the horn section for Steppin Razor, an all-female reggae band, that opened for major Reggae acts like UB40, Yellow Man, and Burning Spear. Several months later they were asked to play on Burning Spear's upcoming European tour, which took Pamela on quite an unexpected career path. That initial Spear tour turned into two-and-a-half years of incessant globe-trotting --- Europe, Africa, Scandinavia, Columbia, Grenada, Jamaica, Canada and the United States - and three Grammy nominated albums, "People of the World", "Mistress Music ", and "Burning Spear Live in Paris".

As the first female horn section to rock the Reggae world, these three women gained quite a following, as their warm blend won the hearts of audiences who watched in disbelief. This horn trio now known as "Burning Brass" went on to form and front their own funky World Beat band. In 1991 they toured the US and Japan with Reggae Sunsplash, backing Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown, Shinehead, Carlene Davis and Andrew Tosh. During this tour the horn section was endorsed by the L.A.Sax Company, which specializes in custom colored horns.

The African Tours were most inspiring, taking the band to Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Zaire. Working side by side with Fela and King Sunny Ade, and jamming with the local African musicians, drew Pam into a new world of sounds, rhythms and unusual instruments. In fact, "Ba-Bo-Dé", one of the tracks on Pam's recording, is dedicated to Fela's memory. (Fela died in 1997.) This song opens with a compelling conch shell call, and grooves into melodic chanting and percussive interplay. Pam recalls: "During the tour of Nigeria, we were all taken to Fela's private club, shown around the village, and later invited back to Fela's home, where we sat on large pillows on the floor exchanging philosophies."

Photo © 1998 Chris Whitehead

A native New Yorker, Pamela Fleming is a musician with worldwide influences. Her deeply heartfelt style blends a musical pallet full of melodic emotion. Evocative and tender, passionate and powerful, Pamela has delighted fans over the years, using her trumpet, flugelhorn and musical insight with Bonnie Raitt (VH1 Storytellers), Arrow (wrote "Hot Hot Hot"), Buster Poindexter aka David Johansen (made "Hot Hot Hot" more famous), Bruce Springsteen, Robert Palmer, Cab Calloway, Metropolitan Klezmer, Diva - No Man's Band, The Mel Lewis Big Band, Patrick Moraz (Keys with Yes, Moody Blues), Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers, "Little" Jimmy Scott (Sessions at 54th St. on PBS), ....and the list goes on. From rock and roll, to jazz to reggae, to classical and ethnic, her musical style transcends description.

In 1998 anyone who went to the Lilith Fair, was treated to her exceptional performances. Pamela Fleming toured as soloist, with Natalie Merchant... and was asked nightly to come back out on stage and do a guest spot with Sarah McLachlan, The Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, N'Dea Davenport, Victoria Williams, Sister 7, Luscious Jackson . . . where she took off, and added an extra dimension to their music. You can hear her on Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music Volume 2, on Natalie Merchant's version of "In the Ghetto".

Now, with her own group Fearless Dreamer she has decided to treat us to her Soul in Sounds.

Would you like to send Pam a message?

Pamela Fleming & Fearless Dreamer - Official Website
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