Singer/songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is a classically trained soprano who left the classical world to explore folk music, learning banjo and fiddle and gaining notice as co-founder and lead singer of the string band Carolina Chocolate Drops. The North Carolina native won a MacArthur “Genius” grant in 2017, performs in an all-female strings-and-banjo quartet called Our Native Daughters, and played an ongoing character for two seasons of the TV drama Nashville. These days, she is becoming more visible in the classical world. Her recent and upcoming performances include the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and she is host of the WQXR/Metropolitan Opera podcast Aria Code. This May, she and her band will join the Boston Pops for two concerts of folk, blues, country, hot string jazz, and Caribbean music, led by Keith Lockhart. She will also curate two evenings with the Boston Pops, vocalist Darius de Haas, and pianist Lara Downes, featuring African American composers including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Eubie Blake, and Florence Price.

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