Rhiannon Giddens has had a busy time of late. In February, she led the ‘Our Native Daughters’ project, collaborating with US musicians Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago), Amythyst Kiah, and Leyla McCalla to recover and highlight some of the African American histories buried in folk music. Their album, ‘Songs of Our Native Daughters’, was inspired by Giddens reading slave accounts in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. Such has been the positive response to the record that the group has been nominated for Duo/Group of the Year at the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards.
Only three months later Giddens released another collaborative effort with Francesco Turrisi called ‘There Is No Other’ which explores how the sounds and rhythms from African and the Arabic world intersect with traditional music from Europe and America. Francesco Turrisi is a renowned Dublin-based Italian multi-instrumentalist who usually works in fields such as jazz, improvisation and early music.
Giddens herself is a MacArthur Fellow, a conservatory-trained opera singer, and a multi-instrumentalist who’s constantly pushing at the boundaries of popular music. She’s known for the five studio albums released with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she played banjo and fiddle. Their roots-based influences also spanned music from Africa to Europe, blending together into something unique and exciting. Since she left The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens has toured almost non-stop, building on the success of her ‘Freedom Highway’ album, produced by T Bone Burnett, and winning various awards and a “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. More recently, her keynote address to AmericanaFest UK in January was met with acclaim, while she silenced the Hackney Empire venue on awards night by singing unaccompanied and off-mike from the front of the stage.
Now fans of Rhiannon Giddens get the opportunity to see her perform live with eight shows (six with Francesco Turrisi) on the following dates:
FRI NOV 22, EFG London Jazz Festival, London
SAT NOV 23, St George’s Church, Brighton (with Francesco Turrisi)
SUN NOV 24, The Anvil, Basingstoke (with Francesco Turrisi)
TUE NOV 26, Forum, Bath (with Francesco Turrisi)
WED NOV 27, Opera House, Buxton, (with Francesco Turrisi)
THU NOV 28, Grand Central, Liverpool (with Francesco Turrisi)
FRI NOV 29, The Sage, Gateshead (with Francesco Turrisi)
SUN DEC 1, Usher Hall, Edinburgh