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Rhiannon Giddens

Artist Bio

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. She was most recently nominated for her collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, there is no Other (2019). Giddens’s latest album, They’re Calling Me Home, is a twelve-track album, recorded with Turrisi in Ireland during the recent lockdown; it speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical “call home” of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis.  

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. Pitchfork has said of her work, “few artists are so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration,” and Smithsonian Magazine calls her “an electrifying artist who brings alive the memories of forgotten predecessors, white and black.”

Among her many diverse career highlights, Giddens has performed for the Obamas at the White House, served as a Carnegie Hall Perspectives curator, and received an inaugural Legacy of Americana Award from Nashville’s National Museum of African American History in partnership with the Americana Music Association. Her critical acclaim includes in-depth profiles by CBS Sunday Morning, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and NPR’s Fresh Air, among many others. 

Giddens is featured in Ken Burns’s Country Music series, which aired on PBS in 2019, 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, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell, and Amythyst Kiah, 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.

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Contact

Agent - North America

Agent - Europe // Asia

Agent - AUS // NZ

Tour Dates

Sep 13 2021
Valentine Theatre(Toledo Cultural Arts Center, Inc.)
Toledo, OH
Jan 21 2022
Greensboro Opera presents Porgy and Bess
Greensboro, NC
Jan 23 2022
Greensboro Opera presents Porgy and Bess
Greensboro, NC
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News

04/09/2021

Rhiannon Giddens Releases New Album They’re Calling Me Home, Out Now On Nonesuch Records

Rhiannon Giddens + Francesco Turrisi Release New Album They’re Calling Me Home, Out Now On Nonesuch Records Watch The Music Video For “Avalon”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esILLxHM92M  "A Near Perfect Album...Her Finest Work…

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03/03/2021

RHIANNON GIDDENS SHARES “WATERBOUND” FROM NEW ALBUM THEY’RE CALLING ME HOME OUT APRIL 9 / NONESUCH RECORDS

WATCH / LISTEN HERE Rhiannon Giddens has shared a second preview of her forthcoming album They’re Calling Me Home, recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi (April 9/Nonesuch Records).  The piece…

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02/10/2021

Rhiannon Giddens announces new album with Francesco Turrisi, They’re Calling Me Home, out April 9 on Nonesuch

REFLECTIONS ON MEANING OF "HOME" CREATED DURING PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN IN IRELAND WATCH/LISTEN TO THE TITLE TRACK HERE READ MORE AT ROLLING STONE; PITCHFORK; AMERICAN SONGWRITER Rhiannon Giddens’ new album They’re…

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