From Nashville — Music Talks with Hunter Kelly: Diversity in Country Music - 92Y, New York

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From Nashville — Music Talks with Hunter Kelly: Diversity in Country Music

Rissi Palmer, D’orjay The Singing Shaman, Dale Henry Geist, Jada Watson and Amanda Marie Martinez
Hunter Kelly, Rissi Palmer, D’orjay The Singing Shaman, Dale Henry Geist, Jada Watson and Amanda Marie Martinez

Apple Music Country radio host and journalist Hunter Kelly continues his series of conversations with the industry’s most influential artists.

Country music is beginning to look more like America, but it still has many a road to travel. Hunter Kelly shifts his focus from Nashville’s mega-artists and songwriters to lead a panel on diversity in country music — what has needed to change, what has been gained, and the work still to be done.

Joining Hunter is a roundtable of artists, journalists, academics, and all-around stakeholders in country music. Among them are two standout performers: Rissi Palmer — singer, host of Apple Music Radio’s Color me Country, and a passionate voice for artists who have been marginalized in mainstream country music — and formidable emerging artist D’orjay The Singing Shaman, a Black queer Canadian forging her own path in the genre. Also on the panel: Country Queer founder Dale Henry Geist, lead researcher on the SongData project Jada Watson, and UCLA doctoral candidate Amanda Marie Martinez, completing her dissertation on race and the country music industry. Together they’ll discuss the need for showcasing diverse voices in country music, the platforms required to promote them, and all that needs to evolve in the industry. The talk will also include performance videos from Rissi and D’orjay.

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See more in the From Nashville — Music Talks with Hunter Kelly series:


Songwriters Brandy Clark, Josh Osborne and Jessie Jo Dillon

Brandi Carlile


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Hunter Kelly

Hunter Kelly is the host of PROUD Radio on Apple Music Country featuring music and interviews with LGBTQ country artists and allies …

Rissi Palmer

Rissi Palmer’s gift lies in reaching across all musical boundaries. While she made her mark in Country Music …

D’orjay The Singing Shaman

D’orjay The Singing Shaman was a late bloomer stepping on to the stage. Helping her clients and students heal …

Dale Henry Geist

Dale Henry Geist (he/him) founded Country Queer in 2019 when he realized that there were no media outlets …

Jada Watson

Jada Watson is an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa, where she teaches in the Schools of Music …

Amanda Marie Martinez

Amanda Marie Martinez is a doctoral candidate in the history department at UCLA …

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