Rhiannon Giddens ’00 Returns to Oberlin for Special Noon Performance October 4

September 20, 2022

Erich Burnett

Rhiannon Giddens and Fancesco Turrisi
Photo credit: Courtesy of Rhiannon Giddens

Part of the Artist Recital Series, concert to feature the multifaceted musician with collaborator Francesco Turrisi; tickets available now.

There are a whole bunch of reasons you might know Rhiannon Giddens.

The singer and multi-instrumentalist with the abiding love of traditional American music has won two Grammy Awards and garners nominations with inspiring frequency. She’s the new artistic director of Silkroad, the inventive ensemble founded by Yo-Yo Ma and dedicated to cross-cultural collaboration.

Giddens is also the host of an acclaimed opera podcast (Aria Code, co-presented by the Metropolitan Opera). She has recently made her way back to the operatic stage performing in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. She’s an actress (including past roles on TV’s Nashville and Parenthood), a speaker on topics ranging from gender and racial equity to global warming, the author of acclaimed children’s books—even a composer of an opera and videogame music (that’s her “Mountain Hymn” in Red Dead Redemption 2).

A 2000 Oberlin Conservatory vocal studies graduate, Giddens is also among the short list of humans who have been granted the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, a distinction so selective that its recipients are presented with a considerable sum of money and free rein to make something wonderful happen with it. (And she did.)

For now, the best thing to know about Rhiannon Giddens is that she will return to her alma mater for a special noon performance in Finney Chapel on Tuesday, October 4. She’ll be joined by her musical partner, fellow multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, along with bass player Jason Sypher. 

Throughout her career, Giddens has earned accolades for her efforts to shine a spotlight on a wide range of roots, folk, and other genres. Her globally informed artistry surfaced on her most recent recording, They’re Calling Me Home, created with Turrisi during their COVID lockdown. That Grammy-winning album, which celebrates the music of their native and adoptive homelands of America, Italy, and Ireland, will serve as the centerpiece of their Oberlin performance, with the two musicians cycling through a whole menagerie of string, keyboard, and percussion instruments.

Tickets to Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi are available now, with discounted tickets available to seniors, military, and Oberlin faculty, staff, and alumni. All student tickets are just $10. Get yours at oberlin.edu/artsguide or call 800-371-0178.

An Oberlin tradition since 1878, the Artist Recital Series continues with performances by the historically informed string ensemble Acronym (November 15) and International Chopin Competition-winning pianist Bruce Liu (April 30,2023). Learn more and buy your tickets at oberlin.edu/artsguide.

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