We are thrilled to announce that Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell have joined the artist faculty for 2017 Fiddle Tunes! The duo will be leading a Southern Old Time music band lab.
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens is best known as the frontwoman of African-American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig earned them a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. She began gaining recognition as a solo artist when she stole the show at the T Bone Burnett– produced Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall in 2013. The elegant bearing, prodigious voice, and fierce spirit that brought the audience to its feet that night is also abundantly evident on Giddens’ critically acclaimed solo debut, the Grammy nominated album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, which masterfully blends American musical genres like gospel, jazz, blues, and country, showcasing her extraordinary emotional range and dazzling vocal prowess. Giddens released her second solo album, Freedom Highway, which she co-produced with Dirk Powell, in February 2017.
Dirk Powell has expanded on the deeply rooted sounds of his Appalachian heritage to become one of the preeminent traditional American musicians of his generation.
In addition to his widely influential solo recordings, he has recorded and performed with artists such as Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm, Jack White, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne. His ability to unite the essence of traditional culture with modern sensibilities has led to work with many of today’s greatest film directors as well, including Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella, and Spike Lee.
He was a founding member of the important Cajun group Balfa Toujours and has been a regularly featured artist in the award-winning BBC series The Transatlantic Sessions. In addition to performing under his own name in a wide variety of settings, Dirk also tours regularly with Joan Baez, playing 7 instruments during each performance.