Rhiannon Giddens, vocals, fiddle & banjo
Jason Sypher, bass
Rhiannon Giddens is a celebrated artist who excavates the past to reveal bold and candid truths about our present. A MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient, she has performed for the Obamas at the White House and acted in two
seasons of the hit television series Nashville. She has been profiled by CBS Sunday Morning, The New York Times, and NPR’s Fresh Air, among others. Her acclaimed solo albums, Tomorrow is My Turn (along with the EP Factory Girl, produced by T Bone Burnett) and Freedom Highway, received three Grammy Award nominations; her work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops (which she co-founded) received a Grammy in 2010. Giddens is also featured in Ken Burns’s Country Music series coming to PBS this fall and will perform at concerts tied to the series in Nashville and New York City. Songs of Our Native Daughters, a collaborative album featuring Giddens that tells the stories of historic black womanhood and survival, was released on Smithsonian Folkways recently to rave reviews. Her latest release is titled There Is No Other.
Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi defies easy categorization. Called “a musical alchemist” by the Irish
Times, he is a Turin-born musician whose Dublin base reflects his global sensibilities. With his unique ability to fold early music, pan-Mediterranean modal melodies, and European flavoured jazz into a single repertoire, Turrisi has developed a musical style that criss-crosses cultures and forges musical alliances that are, at once, old and familiar and startlingly brand new. He has performed and recorded with Bobby McFerrin, jazz icon Dave Liebman, early music group l’Arpeggiata, contemporary ensemble Bang on a Can, Irish sean-nós singer Roisin El Safty, and
tarantella specialist Lucilla Galeazzi.
All of the artists are making their Royal Conservatory debuts tonight