Formidable singer, musician, and storyteller Rhiannon Giddens performs with collaborator Francesco Turrisi | VTx


Gidden’s lifelong mission is to uplift people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been obliterated and work toward a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins. Among her many diverse career highlights is Giddens performing at the White House for the Obamas, serving as curator of Carnegie Hall Perspectives and receiving the first Legacy of Americana Award from the National Museum of African American History in Nashville in partnership with the Americana Music Association. Her critical acclaim includes lengthy profiles from CBS Sunday Morning and the New York Times, the New Yorker, and NPR’s “Fresh Air,” among many others.

Giddens is part of Ken Burns’ Country Music series, which aired on PBS in 2019 and discusses the African American origins of country music. She is also a member of the band Our Native Daughters with three other black banjo players, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah. (The Moss presented concerts by McCalla and Kiah in its 2020-21 season.)

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Giddens was named Artistic Director of Silkroad in 2020 and is developing new programs for the organization, including one inspired by the history of America’s transcontinental railroad and the culture and music of its builders. She recently wrote the music for an original ballet for the Nashville Ballet, Lucy Negro Redux (premièred 2019), and the libretto and music for an original opera, Omar,‘ based on the autobiography of enslaved man Omar ibn Said, which premiered at the Spoleto USA Festival in June.

Turrisi currently performs on piano, accordion, harpsichord, organ, various lutes, cello-banjo and frame and goblet drums, and plays jazz at home as well as traditional Irish songs and Italian tarantella.

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Turrisi has released five critically acclaimed albums as a leader and two as a co-leader “Tarab,‘, a boundary-breaking, innovative ensemble that blends traditional Irish and Mediterranean music, and ‘Zahr,‘, a project exploring links between southern Italian traditional music and Arabic music. His latest piano solo album Northern Migrations features original solo piano compositions and improvisations that explore an Italian pianist’s 10-year journey from the heart of the Mediterranean to northern Europe.

Turrisi has toured with Bobby McFerrin, interpreted Steve Reich’s music with Bang on a Can All-Stars and accompanied flamenco star Pepe El Habichuela and Greek singer Savina Yannatou.

This performance is supported in part by gifts from Laurence W. Carstensen and Patricia Hart Carstensen and Dr. E. Fred Carlisle and Mrs. Elizabeth A. Obenshain.

ticket information

Tickets for the performance are $20 to $45 for the general public and $10 for students and under-18s. Tickets can be bought online; at the Moss Arts Center box office, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

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Paid parking is available in the North End car park on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and employees who have a valid Virginia Tech parking permit may enter and exit the garage free of charge. Virginia Tech has also partnered with ParkMobile to provide a convenient, contactless electronic payment option for parking using at any parking meter, campus lot, or lot with standard F/S, C/G, or R spaces can be.

If you are an individual with a disability and would like accommodation, please contact Jamie Wiggert at 540-231-5300 at least 10 days prior to the event or email [email protected] during regular business hours.





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