Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell

Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell bring the emotional power of rural American music to today’s audiences with unparalleled depth and vision.

From roots in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Louisiana, they’ve created enduring work that blossoms across all borders and genres of art. While Rhiannon is known for founding The Carolina Chocolate Drops and her deep commitment to African-American stringband traditions, she is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, a recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant, and the current artistic director of the Silk Road Ensemble. Dirk is well-known as a longstanding champion of Appalachian and Cajun tradition. He’s a frequent member of the Transatlantic Sessions, has toured regularly with aritsts such Joan Baez, Levon Helm, Eric Clapton, and Loretta Lynn, and his original song “Waterbound” has been recorded over 100 times.

To quote producer T Bone Burnett, with whom both have worked closely, Rhiannon is “next in a long line of singers that include Odetta, Mahalia Jackson, and Rosetta Tharpe.” And of Dirk, Burnett enthuses, “He’s got great subtlety, tremendous feel, and is modern in the best sense of the word.” Both artists have Grammy wins in several contexts, in categories ranging from Folk to Alternative Rock to Blues to Country. Together, they write powerful original compositions, produce brave and influential recordings, and perform with a musical and energetic communication that is rarely matched.

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