John J. Cali School of Music
Date(s) of Performance
Tuesday, November 7, 2022 - Thursday, November 10, 2022
Rhiannon Giddens, Francesco Turrisi
The acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens uses her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and she has been nominated for six additional Grammys for her work as a soloist and collaborator. Giddens’s lifelong mission is to lift up people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins. Giddens is featured in Ken Burns’s Country Music series, where she speaks about the African American origins of country music. She is also a member of the band Our Native Daughters with three other black female banjo players, and co-produced their debut album Songs of Our Native Daughters (2019), which tells stories of historic black womanhood and survival.
Named Artistic Director of Silkroad in 2020, Giddens is developing a number of new programs for the organization, including one inspired by the history of the American transcontinental railroad and the cultures and music of its builders. She recently wrote the music for an original ballet, Lucy Negro Redux, for Nashville Ballet (premiered in 2019), and the libretto and music for an original opera, Omar, based on the autobiography of the enslaved man Omar Ibn Said for the Spoleto USA Festival (premieres in 2022).
As an actor, Giddens had a featured role on the television series Nashville.