A WEEKEND WITH RHIANNON GIDDENS
Rhiannon Giddens is no stranger to Big Ears Festival. The Grammy award-winning singer and instrumentalist, MacArthur “Genius” grantee, and now Pulitzer Prize-winner, Rhiannon Giddens has previously performed three times and is now making her way back a fourth time for a special weekend of performances that include appearances with Christian McBride, Francesco Turrssi, and Silkroad Ensemble.
Rhiannon Giddens Performances
Rhiannon Giddens’ singular, iconic career, which also includes composing for opera, ballet, and film, has stretched her brand of folk music, with its miles-deep historical roots and contemporary sensibilities, into just about every field imaginable. She has centered her work around the mission of lifting up people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been overlooked or erased, and advocating for a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins through art.
Christian McBride, the driving force behind this spectacular trio, is a jazz polymath whose current projects range from big-band modern jazz to high-energy contemporary funk and the left-field piano-free quartet New Jawn. His walking bass lines, slurs, and strums meld with pianist Franceso Turrisi’s delicate improvisation as Rhiannon Giddens’ classical vocal style, though dotted with other influences, sensuously stretches above the noise.
The Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble thrills audiences worldwide with a collective of artists representing dozens of nationalities and artistic traditions. American Railroad, its newest program, is directed by Rhiannon Giddens and illuminates the impact of African American, Chinese, Irish, and other immigrant communities on the creation of the US Transcontinental Railroad.
The Sky is the Limit for Rhiannon Giddens
The relentlessly busy Giddens joined NPR’s World Cafe to talk about her latest album, You’re the One. It’s a departure from her earlier material and a chance to expand her sonic palette. The record incorporates jazz, blues, Cajun and rock elements, and it’s also her first album to feature all original compositions. In this session, Giddens shares about why she wanted to switch gears with You’re the One, winning the Pulitzer Prize, her second children’s book, We Could Fly, and how she finds the time to do “all of the things.”
Rhiannon Giddens Live
For her third solo studio album – and first album of all originals – You’re The One, Giddens recruited producer Jack Splash to help her bring this collection of songs that she’d written over the course of her career to life.
We love her performance of “Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad,” on CBS Saturday Morning. If it’s any indication of the energy she’ll be bringing to Big Ears Festival next year, then it’s going to be an incredible weekend.