Please join the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and Stanford Live for a Lecture Demonstration with multi-instrumentalist and musicologist Rhiannon Giddens. Giddens is a founding member of the Grammy-winning American roots band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a 2017 MacArthur Genius Award recipient and a regular on CMT’s Nashville.
Giddens’ brilliant work traces the 19th century evolution of the banjo from its West African origins and its subsequent travels among black and white communities within the U.S. and ultimately across the globe. She unmasks the little-known, painful history of black erasure in grassroots “American” music and cultures, guiding audiences to think about music in racialized terms.
In her latest album, there is no Other, Giddens incorporates Arabic and Middle Eastern traditions in collaboration with Italian jazz multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, merging parallel histories of marginalization in a transnational context.
Having earned a degree in Opera Theater from Oberlin Conservatory, Giddens shows the depth of her talent and relentless focus on untold stories in the score she wrote for Nashville Ballet’s groundbreaking “Lucy Negro Redux,” based on the “Dark Lady” whom appears in William Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Giddens’ voice and musicianship – along with her bold exploration of racialized music histories within and beyond the U.S. as well as her powerful storytelling – will broaden your mind, heart and soul.
Francesco Turrisi is an Italian pianist and percussionist well versed in jazz, early music and Mediterranean music. He researches Southern Italian Tamburello (tambourine) traditions and paths of music between the Middle East and Europe.
Co-Sponsors: Stanford Arts, Department of Music, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford Arts Institute, Program in African and African American Studies, Program in American Studies