Black Music Matters Festival

Giddens becomes Silk Road Ensemble artistic director

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 – Rhiannon Giddens is the new artistic director of the Silk Road Ensemble.

"Proud to share that I will be stepping in to replace Yo-Yo Ma as the new Artistic Director of the Silk Road Ensemble," Giddens said on Facebook.

The Silk Road Ensemble is a collective of dozens of musicians, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers from Eurasian cultures and not a fixed group.

Giddens is known for being part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and then forging her own solo career.

Giddens said, "My keenest desire for Silkroad is a sharpening and reinterpretation of what it means for the 'right now.' That it becomes obvious to all that Silkroad is as American as it is possible to get in spirit, even as many of the players are from elsewhere; for what is more American than the gathering of influences from disparate areas of the globe to create something unique and fantastic."

<"I am thankful to the board, staff, and musicians for this opportunity to magnify the incredible work that they're doing into an even greater ability to effect change."

Silk Road will performe with the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Series tomorrow.

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CD reviews for Rhiannon Giddens

Freedom Highay CD review - Freedom Highay
Rhiannon Gidden's "Freedom Highway" takes an expansive look at the Black experience in America. "Better Get It Right the First Time" utilizes a gospel-y call and response format to tell the tragic story of a Black life that mattered. However, Giddens goes all the way back to slavery days for the lyrics to "At the Purchaser's Option." In between, "Birmingham Sunday" hearkens back to the Civil Rights movement and that relatively recent fight for freedom. »»»
Factory Girl CD review - Factory Girl
As a follow up of sorts to her superb solo debut, "Tomorrow Is My Turn," "Factory Girl," a five song vinyl EP released for Record Store Day, doesn't exactly expand any parameters, but does showcase Rhiannon Giddens' remarkable dexterity as both an artist and interpreter of traditional melodies. Like an earlier work, 2009's "All the Pretty Horses" (recorded with Roger Gold and Mara Shea), it finds her covering a series of mostly obscure folk tunes, but »»»
Tomorrow is My Turn CD review - Tomorrow is My Turn
Rhiannon Giddens is best known for her role in Carolina Chocolate Drops, and the album "Tomorrow Is My Turn" gives the soulful singer ample opportunity to stretch out on a wide range of cover songs. Produced by T Bone Burnett, a man that knows his way around Americana music, this album is a wonderful showcase for Giddens' talent. To state the obvious, Giddens has a flexible singing voice. She shows this off by going from the soulful "Last Kind Words" to the thumping »»»