Rhiannon Giddens will be a 2020-2021 season Perspectives Artist at Carnegie Hall.
January 28, 2020
Renowned songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and speaker Rhiannon Giddens curates a five-concert Perspectives series throughout Carnegie Hall’s 2020–2021 season. Ms. Giddens’s spectacular banjo and fiddle playing, passionate vocals, and perceptive songwriting are all wedded to a boundless musical curiosity that explores untold stories and reclaims American musical traditions for our time. A recipient of the 2017 MacArthur Foundation grant for exceptional creativity, her collaborative projects with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Our Native Daughters, and multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, as well as a string of award-winning solo albums among other projects, have made Ms. Giddens one the most vibrant musicians of our time.
Ms. Giddens’s Perspectives reveals the full range of her remarkable talents, shedding a light on the shared history of a variety of musical traditions around the world. Beginning in October, she is joined by Mr. Turrisi on piano for two back-to-back recitals on the same evening in Weill Recital Hall. The duo comes together again in January with songs from their critically praised album there is no Other. In March, Ms. Giddens is one of four banjo-playing African American women who collaborate as part of Songs of Our Native Daughters—the opening concert of Carnegie Hall’s citywide Voices of Hope festival—taking audiences on a musical journey from the days of slavery to the present through an exploration of love, loss, and hope in the face of cruelty and oppression. Her residency culminates in April with Mr. Bones Need to Leave Me Alone, an evening that looks at the complex history of minstrelsy in American music and how it relates to music of today.
In her role, Rhiannon has curated and will perform the following shows:
Friday, October 23 at 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM
Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi: When I Am Laid in Earth
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi share conservatory beginnings and a boundless musical curiosity. In Weill Recital Hall, they reinvent the voice-and-piano recital with an eye to tearing down the artificial boundaries between classical and vernacular music. Drawing on diverse sources—such as American and Italian folk music, early Baroque songs, classical arrangements of African American spirituals, original songs, and deconstructed opera arias—they show the fluidity between the classical and popular sound.
Thursday, January 14 at 7:30 PM
Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi: there is no Other
Hear how musical traditions are rooted in shared human experiences. Love, loss, yearning, and joy are felt alike, and every culture expresses them in powerful music. Rhiannon Giddens, “an electrifying artist” (Smithsonian) and multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi explore a vast range of traditions from Africa, Europe, and America—including blues, folk, and opera— to reveal how we are all connected through music.
Friday, March 12 at 8 PM
Rhiannon Giddens and Friends: Songs of Our Native Daughters
Rhiannon Giddens teams up with kindred banjo players as Our Native Daughters, an extraordinary project whose debut albumSongs of Our Native Daughters shines new light on African American women’s stories of struggle, resistance, and hope. Drawing from 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century sources, they reimagine our collective past and create new stories for our time. With unflinching, razor-sharp honesty, they confront frequently sanitized views about America’s history of slavery, racism, and misogyny from a powerful, black female perspective.
Friday, April 23 at 9 PM
Rhiannon Giddens and Friends: Mr. Bones Need to Leave Me Alone
Rhiannon Giddens shatters centuries-long misconceptions about the music of minstrelsy. In a fascinating musical journey, she explores its African American roots and complicated cross-cultural beginnings, its theatrical development and distortion by white musicians wearing blackface, and its impact on contemporary music. Giddens and a group of outstanding musicians educate and entertain as they reclaim minstrelsy and set it in its place as great early American music.