2018 Composition Commission: Rhiannon Giddens

American musical

Rhiannon Giddens Songs

Co-founder of the GRAMMY award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops and a 2017 MacArthur “genius” grant winner, the singer/banjo player/fiddler Rhiannon Giddens masterfully blends American musical genres such as gospel, jazz, blues, and country, showcasing her extraordinary emotional range and dazzling vocal prowess. Giddens’ Composition Commission performance was a revelation: a collection of songs inspired by her historical research into women living in slavery in different cultures down through the centuries. The work, which she is still developing and is currently untitled, was a haunting and powerful statement from an artist whose abilities seem limitless.